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Agri-Robots – Redefining the Future of Farming

Robotic technology is a branch of engineering which deals with the design and development of machines that can perform tasks as humans do. Robotic technology has been used in a variety of situations and for a variety of tasks in the past. Recently, it has emerged as an important tool in the agricultural field. Agricultural robots, also known as agri-robots, will deeply influence agriculture in 2019 and coming years.

There are several benefits that agricultural robots offer:
• Negligible farm downtime, available during labor shortage.
• Improved overall production yield
• Better plantation and care.
• Quicker harvesting and picking.
• Better crop monitoring and analysis
• Fertilizing and irrigation

Source

Rowbot Systems LLC. US patent 10,070,577 titled ‘Real-time field mapping for autonomous agricultural platform’ discloses a method of using an agricultural robot for generating anticipatory geospatial data map of the positions of a planted annual crop. The patent discloses unmanned agriculture robots which will generate geospatial data for the planted crop.

According to the patent, the method to generate anticipatory geospatial data includes:

  1. Delivery of the self-direction programmed agriculture robot into the agriculture field.
  2. Positioning of unmanned agricultural robots at the starting point of the agriculture field.
  3. Deploying aerial mapping sensors heightened above the agriculture field to capture geospatial data within the observation window.
  4. Measuring the actual annual crop row positions within the starting point observation window and perimeter of the agriculture field.
  5. Creating a data map of the entire agriculture field by plotting the actual annual crop row positions in a portion of the geospatial data corresponding to the starting point observation window.
  6. Activating the self-direction program of the agriculture robot for navigating it within the agriculture field.
  7. Periodic refining of the geospatial data map by mapping sensors by replacing the annual crop row positions. And this saves the time of farmers in locating the field for the crops to grow.

Another embodiment of the patent explains figure 1 which refers to an unmanned agriculture robot 100 with an aerial mapping sensor, agriculture robot can be configured to perform one or more in-season management tasks on an agricultural field. Its position can be operated by remotely located human and programmed with the algorithms in combination with aerial sensors to determine the best route to be taken. Even though it may revolutionize the agriculture sector forever, it is facing several challenges like high costs which restrain the farmers and owners of farms and crops from opting for the agriculture robots.

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