In a new $7,800 report by Wintergreen Research, significant growth is anticipated over the remainder of this decade in every aspect of farming, milking, food production and animal control.
Automated and robotic processes will achieve crop-yield increases, alleviate illegal worker practices, reduce the use of herbicides and can open up agriculture to 24 hour days.
Agricultural robotics market size at $817 million in 2013 is anticipated to reach $16.3 billion by 2020, a hefty growth for a nascent market. Agricultural robots are but part of an overall trend toward more automated process for every type of human endeavor. Robots are being used more widely than expected in a variety of sectors, and the trend is likely to continue with robotics becoming as ubiquitous as computer technology over the next 15 years.
40 companies and research agencies are present in the marketplace and are mentioned in the report.
Examples of uses of agricultural robots:
- Automated harvesting systems
- Automated weed control
- Herding robots
- Autonomous navigation in the fields
- Robotic mowing, pruning, seeding, spraying and thinning
- Robots in forestry
- Robots in nurseries
- UAS for surveying, precision ag, spraying, monitoring
- Cooperative robots for weeding, seeding and spraying
- Integration with agricultural management software
- Autonomous Plowing
- Rowcrop, vineyard, orchard and dairy applications
- Unmanned and cabless tractors
- Combination vision systems
- Wireless and GPS nodes over farmlands
- Sorting and packing