There are technologies in place that may result in the next salad someone eats having come from a greenhouse tended and managed by a robot. However, perfecting this type of high-tech equipment is no small task. In fact, this is an issue that engineers across the globe have struggled with for many years. The fact is robot farmers are very complex and require much more delicacy of motion and intelligence than the average self-driving cars or robotic vacuums.
However, by going to i49 today, it is clear to see that hydroponic indoor farming is something that is much more robot-friendly than more traditional outdoor agriculture. This is why there isn’t a huge influx of robots in the farming industry. Robotic arms that harvest field-grown lettuce is still somewhat of a distant dream. However, changing the environment to an indoor farm setting and overcoming the complexities will become much easier. This is especially the case when the crop is greens or lettuce.
Recent Innovations in the Field
Recently, a Silicon Valley startup company called Iron Ox announced they were creating an indoor farming robot. The first working model was released in 2018. The CEO of this company is a former farmer and Google X engineer and the co-founder has a Ph.D. in robotics. The shared interests they have are what inspired them to take on the challenge of making lettuce indoors that would cost as little as the field-grown version.
The design of this robot allows it to handle the fast-growing crops, such as leafy greens, herbs, and lettuces. The equipment and programming help to automate the entire crop cycle from start -; at the seed -; to completion -; at the time of harvest. It has also been discovered that there is more than one robot being used. The farmhand robot that include cameras to find issues relating to diseases, pests, and plant health, while measuring plant development. Another robot is used for harvesting the full-grown plants.
Other Steps in Robotic Farming
Another company that is taking huge and rather impressive steps in the field of robotic farming is Spread, which is based out of Japan. However, the robotic indoor farming facility that has been created is now more than six years old. This company did experience some hurdles along the way since creating a robot farmer is a process that is much more complex than most people anticipate.
What is the Future of Robotic Farming?
New innovative technology is helping the robotic farming industry move forward and make significant strides. This is invaluable, as the demand for food increases with the growth in the population. With the ability to use robotic processes, the demand for human labor will be reduced, which also means higher amounts of crops can be harvested. In the long run, the use of these robotic processes is going to be beneficial for everyone.
For those who are interested in learning more about robotic farming, there are several things to know and understand. Take some time to figure out the technology that is currently in place and how it is being used. This is what is set to change and transform the entire farming industry. The key is to keep up with the latest developments to know what is coming.