The Future of Farming

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Whether in the field, in the barn, or in the greenhouse, robots and drones already handle a lot of tasks. Here’s what they can do.

Harvesting in the greenhouse

Ability:

The use of image processing software and robots has given rise to new harvesting systems for high-value crops such as tomatoes. The harvesting robots in the aisles of the greenhouse can distinguish ripe crops from unripe ones, and can harvest and package them in boxes.

Benefits:

Around-the-clock harvesting

Decreased workload for harvesting staff

Data analysis

Material handling in the greenhouse

Ability:

Robots that safely work side-by-side with humans can handle manual tasks such as dividing plants. They can also optimize the placement of plants, for example.

Benefits:

Improved plant quality

Reduced use of water, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer

Lower production costs

Barn automation

Ability:

In the barn, robots help with replenishing fodder, milking cows, and removing manure.

Benefits:

Increased performance

Reduced workload for farmers

Improved health and well-being for cows

Improved hygiene on different ground surfaces

Data analysis

Aerial imagery drones and seeding drones

Ability:

Many drones are equipped with multispectral cameras and photo cameras, monitor the health and growth of crops, and can predict the crop yield. Drones can also carry and distribute payloads such as seeds, herbicides, fertilizer, and water. They are also able to charge themselves at weatherproof docking stations and transmit data for analysis purposes.

Benefits:

Very good cost-benefit ratio, information is gained and time is saved

Time and location-independent

Fast and efficient monitoring of large areas

High-resolution detailed recordings

Can be controlled with high precision

Documentation and analyses are performed in an environmentally friendly way that does not damage the vegetation

Spraying and weeding robots

Ability:

Robots are programmed to recognize weeds in the field.

The goal: Pulling out weeds, or targeted application of pesticides.

Benefits:

Reduced use of pesticides

Robots for harvesting fruit

Ability:

Machines use a combination of image processing and robotic arms to harvest strawberries, cucumbers, or apples, for example. The robots also help out with quality control and sorting.

Benefits:

Around-the-clock harvesting

Decreased workload for harvesting staff

Data analysis of the harvest

Autonomous navigation

Ability:

Tractors and other agricultural devices move around fields autonomously (e.g. by using GPS).

Benefits:

Reduced workload

Relatively precise positioning

Adapts to steep terrain

Teachable

The Future of Farming

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