Farmer robots arrive: they collect the fruit directly from the tree like a human farmer
The automation of industrial processes is not a new phenomenon. For decades, the most entrenched sectors in advanced societies and new companies have based their growth in the robotization and mechanization of some of its tasks. And it has allowed significant cost savings while contributing to worker well-being. With the implosion of new advances in artificial intelligence, the future of the economy begins to emerge in the figure of robots of all kinds.
Agriculture has also been one of the sectors where these advances have had the greatest impact. The field has been incorporating numerous technological advances, to which must be added the new batch of robots capable of harvesting fruit straight from the tree with the same precision and sensitivity of the human hand. An interesting project by the Australian Center for Field Robots at the University of Sydney (Australia) has put precisely that focus on this very traditional sector.
And they have several curious proposals whose mission is to collect products food quickly and effectively. And with the addition of being permanently working. Some of its robots, for example, are solar powered. Photovoltaic cells allow them to work in agricultural fields and tree crops.
Thus, prototypes called Rippa or Ladybird allow the use of autonomous technologies to make decisions quickly on high-density farms. High precision farm robots. One of the most curious is a machine that can take a piece of fruit from a tree and, without damaging it, place it directly in a box for storage.
But, in addition to this task, it is programmed to “learn” from the state of the products, even distinguishing whether or not it is mature. In addition to collecting, the center has robots prepared to flee, plow the land or manage livestock. The center intends to launch the next year commercial versions of their robots. It is a very ambitious project and more so considering that the global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence market grows globally to 7 billion dollars in 2018 and is expected to reach more than 26 billion dollars in 2023.
There are many companies involved in this sector. One of them, Small Robot Company, has begun to distribute more productive and autonomous machines that could say goodbye to classic tractors in the coming years. Given the scant interest of workers in performing agricultural tasks in recent decades, there are even initiatives that have managed to grow and care for lettuce by robots. A scenario that will be repeated in the very near future.