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Robotics for europe's farmers!

The European agricultural industry is undergoing a robot revolution driven by artificial intelligence.

Mark Buijze is one of the few agricultural robot owners in Europe, more specifically in Zeeland in the Netherlands. He uses it to autonomously weed his various crops field . His 15-hectare organic farm has around 50 cows.

By delegating tedious, repetitive tasks such as weeding to the robot, Buijze can devote more time and energy to other, more important tasks, such as animal care and crop management. Agricultural robots improve farm efficiency and profitability by reducing labor costs and increasing productivity.

Robots at the farmer's disposal

Robots are used to help farmers with their tasks. Buijze's robot uses GPS to move around the fields, performing tasks such as weeding and seeding. All Buijze has to do is enter the coordinates and the robot will start working. With the help of this robot, tasks that normally take weeks can be completed in just a day or two. This saves time and manpower.

The use of AI in agriculture is still under development, but advances in agricultural research are increasingly encouraging farmers to use robots to meet their fields needs and detect crop disease early. This research shows that the use of agricultural robots can improve farmers' efficiency and life quality.

Productivity, competitiveness and respect for the environment

Bertrand Pinel, “French Agronomist” and head of the ROBS4CROPS research and development project, which brings together a 50 experts team and 16 institutional partners in Europe to develop robotic technologies for farms, is convinced that the use of robots is necessary to make agriculture in Europe more productive, competitive and environmentally friendly - European Union key objectives for a sector worth around 190 billion euros / year. He points out that the use of robots could reduce the herbicides use through mechanical weeding, a tedious and time-consuming task, and help overcome frequent labor shortages.

The agricultural robots growing need not only for their ability to work faster, but also because of the shortage of available labor. Recruiting and hiring agricultural workers, including seasonal workers, is a challenge for farmers in Europe even before the energy crisis worsens and fertilizer prices rise in 2021.

To meet this challenge, the ROBS4CROPS project aims to enhance existing farm machinery with robotic functionalities to assist workers or even replace their physical presence. The system uses raw data such as images and videos, which are tagged by researchers to be read by the AI.

Weed technology

According to van Evert, precision agriculture researcher at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the use of AI in agriculture holds great promise for repetitive tasks such as weeding.

He points out that this task is required several times a year, and that machines can do it faster than humans. Francisco Javier Nieto De Santos, who coordinates the FLEXIGROBOTS project, is impressed by a robot that can take soil samples in a couple minutes, faster than when this task is carried out manually. These technologies benefits go beyond the agricultural industry to reach the general public, increasing the overall food supply.

Some farm machinery can spot diseased plants, enabling farmers to detect disease early and intervene as soon as possible. Early detection is crucial to avoid losing the entire field production. Data exchange between the various robots and tools is crucial to making the whole system more intelligent and improving information gathered analysis.

Autonomous Tractors

AI technologies make it possible to collect and store large data quantities for analysis in order to make “intelligent” decisions and predictions. This system uses data collected by sensors, cameras and autonomous tractors to help automate tasks.

Autonomous tractors and robots collect and store more information as they operate using sensors and cameras.


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