How Robotics and Drones are Changing the Agriculture Sector

Applied Tech Review | Wednesday, September 08, 2021

The global agricultural drones market is expected to grow consistently due to the rising awareness of drones and robotics of farming applications.

FREMONT, CA: Primary producers are rapidly turning to robotics to tackle various difficulties, resulting in a high-tech transformation in agriculture. As this assessment of the latest trends in robotization reveals, advanced technologies and task automation can assist solve some of these problems.

Several countries have implemented robotic technologies and self-driving agricultural machines to replace human labor from routine farm activities. While robotic technologies in the dairy business are well-established, harvesting, picking, and weeding will soon catch up in the next few years.

Whether farmers and producers view agriculture robots as a product (RaaP) or as a service will significantly impact their return on investment. Several farmers still prefer the capex model, where they purchase materials from the manufacturer directly.

Drones as a Service is rising in popularity as third-party service providers increasingly rent out and operate the technology. The Drone as a Service approach is more cost-effective for smaller farms and aligns with the current agricultural trend of asset sharing.

Harvesting and picking robots

Harvesting and picking robots are beneficial for high-value crops like wine grapes, typically labor-intensive and time-consuming to harvest. Nanotechnology, materials science, and mechatronics have enabled picking robots to identify and analyze the ripeness of fruits and to grip and separate them without damaging them.

Weeding robots

High-value crops (such as lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, oranges and other citrus fruits, and winery grapes) appear to be the most significant business cases for weeding robots. These robots are highly beneficial in areas where workers and equipment are at risk due to steep terrain. Weeding robots may also deliver tailored dosages of pesticides to the weeds but not the crops using precision technology, drastically reducing the number of herbicides used.

Milking robots

Dairy farmers are switching from conventional to automated milking systems to satisfy the rapid rise in global milk demand and to address workforce shortages, as milking robots aid to enhance the productivity and yield of the milking procedure.

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