Agricultural Robots or agribots are being integrated across the world to assist in farming and improve productivity in every aspect of agriculture. Bringing the robots into the agricultural field can help deal with many problems associated with farming. Unless humans, machines can work around the clock, even at night with sufficient lighting. They can be adjusted to tolerate heat and humidity. This more efficient and economic process can also help balance the ever-increasing food prices too.
Robots can do more than harvesting. Smart sprayers are evolving which can calculate exact volume of pesticide to be spewed to plants to prevent diseases. Today more crops are moving from fields to greenhouses due to climate change, which makes pollination difficult. The declining bee population also is a challenge. This potential threat to food supply can be solved with agribots. Agribots such as drones can pollinate flowers instead of bees. The ongoing researches in these advancements can bring food safety and security for the future.
Another set of opportunity is found through the partnership with established agricultural manufacturers. They are developing autonomous tractor for row crops. It is expected to become commercially available in the coming years.
Vendors have already developed agrirobots that can collect data on a plant basis, keeping track of the health and development of each. As per reports, this agribot knows exactly where the plant is, whether it is germinated and what it needs. It will even suggest what fertilizer and chemicals are needed to maximize crop yields.
Robotic seeding and weeding systems can help farmers increase yields. Aerial drones can help farmers to analyze soil conditions for the proper and precise use of fertilizer and water.
Another gain of adopting agricultural robotics in the future is the growing investment from the government and venture capitalists.
But there are factors impeding for the adoption of robots in the agricultural sector like the complicated processes involved in farming, and the complicated relationship with the risk that pertains amongst the farming community. Also unlike other industries agriculture is an unconquered frontier for robots for some reasons, for example, humans can learn spot ripened crop but for robots, it is a complex mathematical and spatial task requiring capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning. The machine must be that intelligent to recognize the ripe crop.
But if these trends continue over the coming years, agribots of all shapes and sizes will become more available to farmers and the opportunity for widespread growth of the agricultural robotics market could increase significantly.