1. Nursery Planting
Agriculture and Robotic Techniques – Nurseries are places where seeds are grown in young plants, which are later planted out. Nursery plants are often sold directly to consumers and landscape owners, but they are also the beginning of a food journey for some crops. There is a growing need for nursery automation. Companies like Hetero Agrotechnics and Harvest Automation (as we introduced in a previous post) provide automation solutions for seeds, putty and warehouse plants in greenhouses.
2. Crop Seeding
Many food plants start life as seeds in the field. The traditional way of sowing seeds is to disperse them using a “broadcast spreader” attached to the tractor. This throws many seeds around the field while the tractor moves at a steady pace. This is not a very effective way of planting because it can lead to loss of seeds. Map has been created that shows the characteristics of the soil (quality, density, etc.) at each turn of the field. The robotic sowing tractor, then places the seeds in the same location and depth so that everyone has the best chance of growing. There are lots of such robots for you just visit and select: robots.net
3. Crop Analysis
Monitoring very large crop fields is a big task. New sensors and geo-mapping technologies are allowing farmers to obtain far more data about their crops than in the past. Ground robots and drones provide a way to automatically collect this data. Drone companies like Precision Hawk offer joint packages to farmers that include robotic hardware and analysis software. The farmer can then move the drone to the field, launch the software via a tablet or smartphone, and view the collected crop data in real time. Ground-based robots, such as Bonnie Robb, also provide detailed monitoring as they are capable of approaching crops. It can also be used for other tasks such as herbs and fertilizers.
4. Crop Spraying
Spraying pesticides and grass killers on the fields is not only useless, but can also seriously harm the environment. Robots provide a much more efficient way. The concept of micro spray can significantly reduce the amount of herbs used to grow crops. Micro spraying robots use computer vision technology to detect weeds and then spray a target of herbal drugs on them. AG BOT II is a solar powered robot that uses this technology. Some weeds robots do not even need to use chemicals. For example, the robot uses computer vision to detect crooked plants as it is pushed through a tractor. Then it automatically loses the blanks to remove the root of the plants. Other weeding robots use lasers to kill weeds.
5. Autonomous Tractors
Many of the robots I mentioned are attached to a tractor. Since humans usually drive tractors, robots are designed to match the speed at which humans are moving. However, fully autonomous tractors are also gaining popularity. IDTechEx agricultural robots report that more than 300 thousand tractors with autonomous activity were sold in 2016. The tendency for the follower leader’s autonomy is also increasing, where tractors follow human-driven combination harvesters to collect grain.