Sunday, 17 September 2017

Agricultural Robots to Uplift Agro-economy

Agriculture robots, also called ‘agbots’ are used for agricultural purposes. It can enhance efficiency and reduce production cost. Innovations in robotics are set to revolutionize agriculture sector in the near future.

Need for ‘Agbot’

Farm employment is physical in nature, which increases the risk of accidents that are caused by exhaustion. Exposure to pesticides, heat, and poorly designed machinery are some of the risks involved in agriculture. These risks can be avoided with implementation of safe and reliable robots. They can also improve farm efficiency and crop yield.

Milking Machines

Voluntary Milking System (VMS) or Automatic Milking System (AMS) are used to extract milk from livestock. Such machinery can offer high efficiency and reduced human labor. These machines allow cows to stay free and graze during the milking process. This system cleans, dries and stimulates udders using water and compressed air and vacuum. Then, milk is extracted via a robotic attachment. These systems can also monitor health of the udders and can detect infections in mammary gland.

Robotic Weeding

Automated farm apparatus can be very useful in precise and rule oriented farming. Robotic weeding is a highly developed robotic system that is gaining popularity among modern day farmers. It can enable faster inspection of crop rows to identify weeds at a much faster pace than manual inspection. It applies machine learning in farming. However, it needs additional information regarding plants and weed for it to function.

Agricultural Drones

Recently, Agribotix LLC has developed its UAV or drone called ‘Agribotix Agrion’. This portable drone operates on remote controls used by human operator. It can be used in precision farming and crop management. These drones are equipped with near infrared camera (NIR), thermal, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and multispectral sensors. These systems can improve direct visibility for crop monitoring. Agricultural drones can perform various other operations like soil and field analysis, crop spraying, and soil irrigation.

Market Overview

According to a report by Grand View Research, Inc.; the global agricultural robots market is predicted to gain nearly USD 8.82 billion by 2025. Government provisions for implementing advanced techniques and increasing usage of precision farming are some of the key market drivers. Milking robot products may dominate the overall market in terms of revenue during the forecast period (2014 to 2025).

Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness the fastest growth in the forthcoming years. Rapid technological advancements can positively impact sales of agricultural robots in the near future. Agribotix LLC (US); CLAAS (Germany), GEA Group (Germany); Harvest, INC. (US); and BouMatic Robotics B.V. are some of the key market participants.

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