Automation of agriculture involves replacing the old farm production techniques with an automated technology known as robotic farming to improve the way things are done in the greenhouse, the open farm, forests, fishery, and horticulture fields among others.
Agricultural robots are industrial robots which are normally deployed in the food production sector. There are many areas where agricultural robots are employed but harvesting robots are the most popular. However, there have been many technological innovations that have led to the design of versatile robots which are able to take up other tasks like spraying herbicides as a weed control measure.
Among other benefits, the automation of agriculture helps farmers save money and time. Farmers in both the developing and developed countries can benefit from automating various processes such as sowing, picking fruits, milking or even maintaining the farm animals.
Benefits of Agricultural Robots
Protection of Human Workers
By taking up tasks like herbicide and pesticide spraying, robots do protect human employees from potential harm that may be caused by inhaling or handling farm chemicals by hand. An agricultural robot can either be designed to complete spraying tasks from an elevated point or closer to the target using a specially designed industrial robot arm.
There’s A Steady Work Flow
Unlike human employees, agricultural robots do not fall sick or get tired. They can work for long hours, continuously. There’s no need for a day’s off. In addition to this, agri-robots operate in full capacity all around. Their accuracy is high compared to humans and this raises the quality of the final outcome. These features boost consistency in the agricultural sector and ultimately lead to a stabilized food production process. For instance, in sorting fruits of a certain colour, a robot can be able to single-handedly complete the task which would require an entire day for the human employees.
Reduced Wastage of Farm Inputs
Robots are able to deliver error-free outcome within a shorter work-time compared to human workers. In the case of spraying chemicals, for instance, agricultural robots can be able to focus on the exact part that ought to be sprayed. Like there are some herbicides that must be sprayed on the roots, some on the leaves and so on. The same case applies to other activities like sowing. Because the robot is able to focus on the target better than a human being, there’s reduced wastage of farm inputs.
They Boost Efficiency in the Agricultural Process
Some agricultural robots use a specially designed vision system to accomplish even the tasks that would be impossible or too demanding for the human worker. In sorting fruit harvests, for instance, the pick and place robots are able to quickly and easily do the sorting which involves separating the defective products from the consumable ones. Though some human employees can do this, they would require a longer time to make it possible.
Reduced Cost of Farming
Farms and agricultural fields are a beehive of activities. In crop farming, there is a need for labour to prepare the land, sow the seeds, water, prune, weed, and to harvest among other activities. Animal fields need regular maintenance, the animals need to be fed and attended to in all the necessary ways. Maintaining a sufficient human workforce to do all these activities can be very expensive. In other cases, some tasks may not even attract human employees. With collaborative robots, all the above activities are quick and easy.
Collaborative Robots for Agricultural Sector
The agricultural sector has seen a positive impact from the invention of collaborative robots. Cobots are human-friendly robots. Their design puts a sensory technology in place. This enables them to respond accordingly (slowing down or stopping) depending on the proximity of a human being.
Agricultural cobots have been used to do farm activities such as irrigation, crop monitoring and others around the clock. Get new agri-cobots that have a special outer design which prevents dust or debris accumulation from Universal Robots; your employees will be able to stay away from repetitive tasks, and this will free up time for other activities that have more qualitative benefits.