Here at TWT, we’re dairy excited about the latest robotics innovations- and they can be found in the most utterly unexpected places. In this episode, Tamara visits Sheridan Dairy where robots are being used to milk cows. The robotic technology available can be used not only to milk the cows in an organized manner, but they also use fitness trackers to monitor each cow’s chewing to determine when it will need milking. Tamara saw how the milk goes from this more robotic farming system through to the Kroger shelves. We may not naturally think of farms as a place to find the latest in robo-tech, but more and more farm functions are being automated. Here are some more examples of some robots you may see on a farm near you:
The Agrobot is the latest in fruit harvesting technology. The mechanism utilizes a combination of image processing and twenty-four robotic arms with an advanced AI system. Quality control is done using the image processing software and the arms are used to pick the fruits. The technology is also able to do data analytics, which can be helpful when determining business revenue.
Blue River LettuceBot
Blue River created a farming robot that utilizes databases with virtually every plant species as well as cameras and artificial intelligence in order to spray fields and plants in the most precise manner possible. A growing number of weeds are becoming more resistant to pesticides and, with past methods, by spraying a weed you’d risk also killing the surrounding plant. Now, with the Blue River LettuceBot, the machine can immediately identify every plant/weed and you can customize what pesticide or fertilizing spray you use to treat it. In addition, precise location technology allows farmers to spray weeds without putting surrounding plants at risk.
We know, drones are everywhere these days, the robots are taking over, panic, etc. However, drones were also one of the first pieces of robotic technology used to help the farming industry. Rather than having to go out into the field and individually check every plant and section, drone imaging tech allows farmers to get an aerial view of their fields. This allows farmers to use them to check on plant growth, monitor crop stress, and predict yields. They can be used in rain or shine and they can either be programmed to make scheduled flyovers or they can be used manually as needed.