Ag robots report sees huge increase by 2020

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Worldwide markets are poised to achieve significant growth as agricultural robots are used in every aspect of farming, milking, food production and animal control during the next few years, according to a report by the Research & Markets company.

“The agricultural robot 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,” an author of “Agricultural Robots—Market Shares, Strategies and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2014 to 2020” wrote to promote selling the research report.

Robotic weed control systems will achieve crop-yield increases. Robot technology will also be deployed for machine weed control to improve crop yields. “Robots make the crops safer by eliminating or virtually eliminating herbicides,” contends the report’s main author, and this would definitely have far-reaching implications.  

Downstream processing system solutions and robots are achieving automation of process. Robots meet stringent hygiene and safety regulations, work tirelessly 24 hours a day and relieve human workers of physically arduous tasks. Robots can contribute to the freshness, variety and quality of food. Several robotic projects are ongoing.

Strawberries are a high profit crop. A new generation of machines has just been born—strawberry harvesters with the world's most advanced technology to give maximum performance to a farm, the report notes. Growers will get the best results in a berry farm using automated processes in the near future. Automated picking collection systems improve labor productivity, give speed and agility to harvest operations. The robots detect the fruit, sense its ripeness, then moves to grasp and softly detach only ripe fruit.

The robotic platforms are capable of site-specific spraying. This is targeted spraying only on foliage and selected targets. Agricultural robots address automation of process for agribusiness. The challenge being addressed is to guide farmers towards a new economic model.

According to Susan Eustis, principal author of the market research study, "Agricultural robotic projects are ongoing. The key to industrial farm robots is keeping costs down. Adapting existing commercial vehicles instead of building new ones is the best way to build viable agricultural robots."

The key topics covered in the report are diverse and some of them seem to be fringe areas of agricultural business. The topics include:
- Agricultural Robots
- Automated harvesting systems
- Autonomous navigation in the fields
- Robotics to automate agricultural operations such as mowing, pruning, seeding, spraying or thinning
- Impact of robots in the fields
- Innovative hmi for agricultural robotics
- Robots in forestry
- New standards for agricultural robotics
- Uav and rpas for agricultural applications
- Cooperative robots in agriculture
- Methods for agricultural robots management
- Autonomous plowing
- Automatic harvesting
- Adaptive robots
- Reinforcement learning
- Evolution robotics
- Multiple agents
- Robotic agriculture
- Artichoke harvesting
- Agricultural robotics
- Artificial vision
- Outdoor autonomous robot
- Energy harvesting
- Wireless nodes
- Microcontroller
- Robotic harvesters
- Economies of scale
- Powering robotic tractors

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