For past few decades, robots have played a significant role in increasing the efficiency as well as reducing the overall total cost of industrial production. Similar trend is anticipated to visible in the field of agriculture. The implementation of robotics in agriculture is expected to bring out transformational result in coming years. Agriculture robots or Agribots are used widely in all the important function of farming.
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With world population growing at a significant rate, the agricultural production needs to be doubled in order to meet the sporadic demand for food and bioenergy. Owing to the fact that resources such as land, water and labor are limited, agriculture efficiency needs to be improved to feed the masses. In this crucial circumstance, agribots is expected to play a vital role. Agribots are expected to increasingly been used in all parts of agriculture cycle such as seeding, sowing, watering and harvesting. The automated harvesting system is capable of mimicking the precision of human harvester while improving the overall harvesting efficiency. A typical design of robotic fruit harvester comprise of an advance vision system for detecting the fruit, an end effector to pick up the fruit and a manipulator that act like a human arm. An automated weed control system recognizes and eliminates weed and help farmers to take decisions related to use of pesticide, herbicide and fertilizers. Tractors are now well-equipped with GPS and automated steering. These tractors are self-guided allowing them to make efficient use of fuel. On dairy farms, robotic milking machines are used to milk cattle’s. Moreover, software system and aerial survey maps are extensively being used by farmers to guide their field operation.
Agriculture drones are small aircraft or quadcopter with advance sensor and imaging capabilities that gives farmers real time information about the field condition. These drones are equipped with an advanced camera that are controlled by the autopilot system giving high resolution images of the farm field. Compared with satellite images, it is much cheaper and provide clear images. The most beneficial aspect of an agricultural drones is its ability to survey crops every week, day or even hour allowing farmers to have a continuous quality check on the crops.
The global positioning system (GPS) enabled robots are also capable of collecting essential data about the climate and sand dune formation to cater the complex ecological issue of desertification. The agriculture robots are also well equipped to operate indoor production facilities using artificial light to produce high quality crops.
Agriculture robot market is driven by global trend of population, increasing demand for global food supply, shortage of skilled labor and emphasis on quality production in conjunction with affordable price. However, the field of agricultural robotics requires extensive research in order to enable machines make logical sense of the complex biological environment. For instance, there are challenges prevailing to proper execution of machines to agilely reach through vegetation without destroying them. The agricultural robotics market displays huge opportunities for efficient production through affordable and autonomous farm devices.
The market can be segmented on the basis of application that include harvesting, pruning, weed control, sorting and spaying.
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Key players in the market includes ISO Group, Autonomous Tractor Corporation, Blue River Technology, Inc., AGROBOT-Soluciones Robóticas Agrícolas SL, Agribotix LLC, Energid Technologies Co., Autonomous Solution Inc., Deere & Company and Yamaha Corporation.
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