Researchers at Israel’s Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Tel Aviv University are working on a new project that will allow farmers to accurately predict their fruit yields with the help of an automated ‘AGRYbot’.
The AGRYbot is essentially a robot with an automated sonar system. It sends out sound waves and then analyzes them using smart algorithms. This means the AGRYbot can not only distinguish between fruit trees and other buildings, but can recognize the difference between the leaves of a plant and the fruit that it potentially carries.
According to Dr. Avital Bechar, the AGRYbot can provide accurate readings of the number of leaves on a tree, or the weight of its fruit - to within 100 grams. His team is currently working on a prototype capable of operating both indoors and outdoors. It is hoped that a production line model will be available within the next few years.
This is yet another example of the technological innovations that are poised to transform the agricultural industry. Speaking recently on this topic, the European Parliament’s science and technology options assessment panel said robots will make make many tasks less dangerous and improve the overall safety of workers.
One of the biggest challenges facing the agricultural industry is the decline in the number of young people involved in agriculture. However, the panel believes young people could be attracted back into the sector by improving the daily quality of life with cyber-physical systems (CPS).
Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are integrations of computation with physical processes. For example, robots are being used to increase safety in food production by more accurately testing for diseases and the freshness of products.
We talked about pesticide use can be better targeted.
The panel did acknowledge that the implementation of CPS in agriculture will inevitably lead to job losses. But, interestingly, they expect an equal number of new roles, requiring different skills, will emerge, such as agricultural robot engineers.
For more information on the latest trends and developments in the agriculture industry, check out our two part Q&A with Agrow, the leading online service for all crop protection business intelligence.
Stay up-to-date with the latest market developments, trending news stories and industry advances with the Research and Markets blog. Don’t forget to join our mailing list to receive alerts for the latest blog plus information about new products.