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Technology

Robotics To Help Agri Sector Tackle Labour Shortages, Improve Efficiency

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Robotics To Help Agri Sector Tackle Labour Shortages, Improve Efficiency

The robotics sector is poised to lead an 'agricultural revolution', a new report from GlobalData has claimed, with robotics increasingly being employed to automate processes and support vertical farming.

According to GlobalData's Robotics in Agriculture report, the robotics industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% from $63 billion (€58.39 billion) in 2022 to to $218 billion (€202.04 billion) in 2030, and will increasingly be used in agriculture to minimise waste and production, as well as augment the industry's workforce.

Strenuous And Monotonous Tasks

“Robots can carry out the strenuous and monotonous tasks that lead to injuries and fatigue," commented Holly Anness-Bradshaw, associate thematic intelligence analyst at GlobalData. "The agriculture industry is investing and innovating in many parts of the robotics industry, including drones, field robots, and robotics intelligence.

"Robots can be found on vineyards, with Burro’s robots helping workers carry up to 500 pounds of crops around fields and back to sorting houses.”

According to Anness-Bradshaw, robots will assist workers in the agricultural sector, not replace them, as they seek to bolster productivity and output.

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“Traditional agricultural companies like John Deere and Cargill, as well as agricultural startups, are all hiring and innovating in robotics," she said. "The agricultural sector is becoming increasingly aware of the potential and need for robotics to support labor and increase agricultural productivity.

"Robots will support human workers by automating repetitive and strenuous tasks, such as tilling, but will also learn crop health and growing patterns.”

Farm Management

Farm management is also likely to be enhanced by the implementation of robotics, as robots learn the growing patterns of specific produce.

“Companies like Dogtooth are aiming to fully automate the lifecycle of strawberries to alleviate the pressure of labour shortages that lead to excess food waste so crops do not go unpicked," added Anness-Bradshaw.

"Dogtooth is a strawberry-picking robot arm, which is integrated with sensors, cameras, and AI. The robot can navigate rows of strawberries, determine whether they are ripe, delicately pick the berries, and then package them into punnets.”

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