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Robotics in Agriculture: Types and Applications

robotics in agricultureAgriculture is quickly becoming an exciting high-tech industry, drawing new professionals, new companies and new investors. The technology is developing rapidly, not only advancing the production capabilities of farmers but also advancing robotics and automation technology as we know it.

At the heart of this phenomenon is the need for significantly increased production yields. The UN estimates the world population will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. The world will need a lot more food, and farmers will face serious pressure to keep up with demand.

Agricultural robots are increasing production yields for farmers in various ways. From drones to autonomous tractors to robotic arms, the technology is being deployed in creative and innovative applications.

Agricultural Robot Applications

Agricultural robots automate slow, repetitive and dull tasks for farmers, allowing them to focus more on improving overall production yields. Some of the most common robots in agriculture are used for:

  • Harvesting and picking
  • Weed control
  • Autonomous mowing, pruning, seeding, spraying and thinning
  • Phenotyping
  • Sorting and packing
  • Utility platforms

Harvesting and picking is one of the most popular robotic applications in agriculture due to the accuracy and speed that robots can achieve to improve the size of yields and reduce waste from crops being left in the field.

These applications can be difficult to automate, however. For example, a robotic system designed to pick sweet peppers encounters many obstacles. Vision systems have to determine the location and ripeness of the pepper in harsh conditions, including the presence of dust, varying light intensity, temperature swings and movement created by the wind.

But it still takes more than advanced vision systems to pick a pepper. A robotic arm has to navigate environments with just as many obstacles to delicately grasp and place a pepper. This process is very different from picking and placing a metal part on an assembly line. The agricultural robotic arm must be flexible in a dynamic environment and accurate enough not to damage the peppers as they’re being picked.

Harvesting and picking robots are becoming very popular among farmers, but there are dozens of other innovative ways the agricultural industry is deploying robotic automation to improve their production yields.

The demand for food is outpacing available farmland and it’s up to farmers to close this gap. Agricultural robots are helping them do just that.

Agriculture has quickly become a high-tech business. If you want to learn more about emerging robotics industries, join companies like Amazon, Microsoft and GM at the annual A3 Business Forum to network with leaders in the automation industry.


Mauro Colucci   (February 4, 2018 04:13 AM)

Very very interesting Mauro


sindhu m   (March 20, 2018 11:57 PM)

I would like to know about the robots for my rose farm in india


Jackson Lindsey   (May 15, 2018 11:12 AM)

Great article


agtools usa   (May 23, 2018 07:23 AM)

Useful Information, your blog is sharing unique information.... Thanks for sharing!!!


Rubagumya Isaac   (June 26, 2018 03:03 AM)

With the increased need to climate changes, there is need for not only agricultural sustainability but also ensuring food security,, am a student at makerere university Kampala Uganda doing bachelors of science in agricultural engineering second year. Currently am doing my industrial training with Williamson magor group dealing in tea manufacture. I look forward for more research and innovative ideas to make a contribution in agricultural robots automation


sharp garuda   (June 27, 2018 05:48 AM)

Great post Thanks for sharing


Willie Lee Kersey Jr.   (July 3, 2018 12:53 PM)

I am putting together a plan for the USDA on a self sufficient hydroponic/aquaponic system and I am currently researching the options for a automated system for this. I would like further information.


Marvin Sarabio   (September 17, 2018 10:25 AM)

Muy interesante. Me gustaría saber que innovaciones tienen para los cultivos de papaya, soy de Mérida, Yucatán, México.


Ahmad Mahdavi   (December 9, 2018 10:45 PM)

Considering the complex nature of agriculture involved, crop types, soil texture, soil biodiversity, crop pests, the weather and many other factors and also the need to increase agricultural productivity due to population increase soon to 9 billions on the planet, then robots will play a big role in crop production.


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