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Get to know robots for agriculture and horticulture

From size XL to XS

Vision

You eat. You eat thanks to evolution from hunting to man- or animal-powered field farming, to tractors and agriculture machinery. Today, a singel farmer can harvest thousands of kilos per hour. But this kind of machinery is designed for uniform fields and does impact the soil. Ten elephants are less heavy than a sugar beet harvester. Therefore, ample of room for further evolution to create more efficient and ecological friendly approach. 

And why would technology trends bypass agriculture? Plant specific 'big data', recognition of diseases by 'artificial intelligence' and 'automated' operations. More can be harvested per square meter, in a more ecological way. Within this new dimension, technologies enable a friendly disruptive approach by unmanned and ultralight small vehicles ...

Let's image for now, vehicles at ducksize. Don't worry if it can do the job, did you every see a duck operating alone?

WHICH FIELD ROBOTS ARE AVAILABLE?

'For sale' or only in 'concept' phase

Not every robot is already available 'for sale', in fact: Many are not available for sale, but just a prototype or experiment. 

To do 'weeding', 'harvesting', or... 

Per robot the purpose and functionality is different. Some are multifunctional. And for example, what track width should it have not to damage your crop?

On the above and other criteria, you're able to select the field robots that are listed by ducksize. Click below to start.

Save labour costs?

A robot can take manual tasks in agriculture and horticulture. However, ducksize indicates two key factors that influence the effectiveness: 

  • Into what degree is the job fully replaced by the robot? Typically the robot can only full-fill a part of the current manual job done. 

  • What are your regulations to operate autonomous? Does it mean it can drive day and night, without direct supervisor? Or can it only operate when someone is in direct eye-sight of the field robot? This is location dependend. 

More healthy soil?  

The two key reasons how field robotics can contribute to a better soil:

  1. The machines are weighting less than conventional tractors. Only order to make person-controlled vehicles more efficient in terms of work/hour labor, they are made bigger, bigger, bigger .... Arguably, the 'brain' of robotics are expensive also and become relevant cheaper on bigger robots.

  2. Robotics can easily and consistently drive over a 'fixed lane', so the soil where plants grow remains untouched. Over years!

Reduce chemicals?

Less chemicals can be needed for multiple reasons: Regulations for the crop (health of consumers), to reduce costs, or for  regulations about health of workers, to get ecological certification... or simply to 'fit' a more sustainable vision. 

What can robots do to help here:

  • Repeat weeding mechanically..

  • ...and again more weeding! 

  • Apply chemicals on-the-spot

  • Apply other technics like UV light, without risk for human workers

Kiss the ground: Inspiration for robots.

An inspiration to understand why and how to treat the soil well. With two main drivers: 

  1. The solution for global warming

  2. Economical improvement for farmer

Kiss the ground is a movie that shows the possibilities by impressive results from various projects around the world. And because it's making the effect of taking care of the soil, tillage and soil compaction extremely visible, at least it can be an inspiration to reflect on the way of farming and treating the ground in your area. 

Chicken & egg story: Can we diversify the agriculture and horticulture fields due to robots, or can we use robots only cost effective on fields with biodiversity? 

The robots create an opportunity to scale down on uniformity of the field. It does not need to been as the enabler from a functional point of view, however into the complete ecosystem of the farm it can be. Read further about the drivers and by ducksize suggested field robots per item: 

CONTACT

I'm Corné Rispens, the founder of ducksize. ducksize is based in The Netherlands an is a straightforward result of two big passions and the daily news: 

  1. Agriculture, where I've been raised.

  2. Technology, where I've my career. See my LinkedIN.

  3. Daily news, about global population growth and climate impact 

 

Looking to global industry trends, I've no doubt on a significant increase in AgTech and specifically these 'autonomous robotic tractors'. In order to help us, on e.g. weeding but also on activities that we do not foresee yet. 

 

On any questions or suggestion you may have, I would be glad get in contact. You can use the form below. Cheers, Corné Rispens

 

ducksize

Grow food production, 
by smaller machinery