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‘Farmbots’: Precision farming with agricultural robots could boost crop yields, cut chemical use

| | July 16, 2018
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Image: SciDevNet
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

According to both the Government and farmers, the future of farming is one in which small robots will have a crucial role to play.

One company involved in developing agricultural robots is the Small Robot Company, a start-up focused on ‘revolutionising’ the way in which robots and artifical intelligence (AI) are being deployed and used.

[T]he work done by tractors in fields will be replaced with a series of highly accurate, smart, lightweight robots that will be able to use, for example, optical recognition for harvesting, ‘spot’ application of herbicides and weeding techniques using low-energy lasers.

“Precision farming and the use of robots to deliver that will mean crops will be healthier, the soil from which they are grown will be in a better condition, and yields will be significantly higher. Bills for fuel and chemicals will be reduced dramatically and farmers will no longer have to do basic farm work…”

As for the robots, they are called Tom, Dick and Harry.

“Tom autonomously monitors the crop and soil, and keeps an eye on weeds. It monitors on a plant-by-plant basis,” [head of the technical team at Small Robots Joe] Allnutt explains. ”Dick and Harry then take care of all the feeding, seeding, and weeding. When one of these robots is needed, it turns up and does its job. When it is finished, we can take it away – they are easy to transport.”

Read full, original article: The future of farming is small robots

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