Farmers turn to technology to address a number of pressing issues, including growing global labor and food shortages. Agricultural robots, sometimes referred to as “agribots,” are considered one of the key trends in 2019 that will have a profound impact on agriculture. They can help farmers tackle the dwindling workforce issue and enable them to work more efficiently while saving labor money. Advanced robotic systems will also take care of plants and harvest them, as well as collect data on-farm, increasing crop yields. The value of the market is expected to reach $12.8 billion by 2022 as agricultural robots become a permanent fixture on many farms.
In this article, we will read about top 8 agricultural robots used for autonomous navigation, monitoring and analysis.
1. PrecisionHawk Lancaster
Lancaster is a drone manufactured by PrecisionHawk. The Lancaster platform provides a range of sensors for use with the Lancaster, including: visual, multi-spectral, thermal, LiDAR, and hyperspectral. A water kit, weight and speed kit, ground kit and video management are optional UAV add-ons. It also has a flight planner, allows instant in-field data review, and starts processing images automatically as soon as you start uploading your data. The artificially smart drone can even land alone (and on water) and change its mid-flight course based on wind patterns.
2. Agribotix Hornet Drone
Agribotix Hornet Drone is a low-cost tool for farmers for monitoring large crop areas and collecting crop data over time or in real time. Developed by Agribotix, a drone-enabled software company that provides advanced imaging and precision farming analysis, Hornet has infrarot and thermal sensors collecting images across fields of interest. It also provides Agribotix Image Processing Services, a software solution that provides aerial images that are easily viewable.
Rosphere is a spherical, autonomous robot that can move in the gardens in an autonomous mode. Designed not to destroy crops, it moves around the beds in the garden, collecting information about the state of the plant and land, the presence of pests and thieves, mature fruit, and a variety of other factors that can ultimately affect the harvest. Only through the computer can the farmer track the relevant information and take certain measures, if necessary.
Rowbot is a self-driving robot that works in a variety of contexts. One task is to travel between the corn rows to remove the height constraints that a rapidly growing crop imposes. It can also be used for maize farmers with nitrogen fertilizer and seed cover crops. This is the machine’s 5-minute clip as it traveled between rows without GPS.
5. Autonomous tractor KU Leuven
An autonomous robot tractor has been created by a team of researchers from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and Flanders ‘ Mechatronics Technology Center (FMTC) in Belgium that can produce a wide range of maneuvers with high precision. The tractor includes a multitude of sensors, a positioning GPS system and a powerful information processing computer. The tractor adapts to conditions on the ground and automatically adjusts its speed and turning radius. With exceptional accuracy, it can complete a pre-programmed route.
Armadillo is an agricultural robot built by University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University engineers and researchers to navigate in row crops and humanitarian demining with high precision. Reached at its third generation, the robot can work on any type of terrain and in any direction with high precision between the row crops. In this new version, engineers are replacing wheels with tracks for good landscape stability and increased mobility. Electric motors are powered by a 55 Ah capacity battery.
7. Clearpath Robotics Grizzly
Grizzly is an all-terrain robot which does the work of a super smart tractor. With attached sensors, it can actually smell where cows peed and treat the grass automatically so that it regrows.
Ladybird, developed by Sydney University, is an autonomous robot capable of performing mobile farm recognition, mapping, classification, and problem detection for a variety of crops. Ladybird features tools and systems that enable autonomous tasks to be performed. It is a lightweight omni-directional electric vehicle inspired by the insect Coccinellidae (Ladybird or the insect of the ladybug). It is equipped with different user interfaces that have been developed for growers, contractors and harvesters.