The Droids Farmers

When it comes to farm robots, fruit gets all the attention. But it looks like trees and shrubs could win the prize for first significant agricultural market for small mobile robots.

Massachusetts startup Harvest Automation is beta testing a small mobile robot to throw a party, as a way to solve their most pressing problems: volatile labor market.

Multi-billion dollar industry, which provides wood for building contractors, big box retailers and landscaping firms - $ 11700000000 according to the latest USDA - decades passed automatically. Economy and state laws that seek violent officers with no document open pressure.
Horticulture industry has attracted the attention of several veterans, including Joe Jones industrial robot co-inventor of the vacuum cleaning robot Roomba IRobot. They see the opportunity for the development of small, low-cost materials, mobile robots for the enterprise support them to the robot 11 nurseries across the country and plans. The project was launched at the end of the first quarter or early second quarter of next year.
Automatic collection loaded robot masters and receive initial funding from the customer, general manager, said Charles Grinnell Land $ 5,000,000 in financing joint venture, partnership, Food Science Midpoint and Ag. The Fund and the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation.
Today the nursery Human planters and shrubs were brought to the nursery trucks and unloaded into teams of workers - not most - of invasive plants into one. Below is a summary table. When the plants are ready to be sent to the group in the next crop season to reverse the truck loading. "We understand the need for industrial robots to move the potted plant, because it is one of the highest concentration of workers in" Tom Demaline president said Willoway Nurseries Inc. in Avon, Ohio.
Ten years ago, the Institute of Horticulture automatically remove children Demaline "The whole concept is to create a better process. It just does not work that well," he said at Harvest Automation robots Demaline move it to the light, he said. "It is simple, completely," he said, "the robot to adapt to a wide range of growing space.".
Small mobile robots is a plant that is likely to occur, and most of the action in production. Factory series of semi-structured environment, as well as several marketing companies complete robot with a computer vision system, monitors and, in some cases, is likely to grow. Most modern medium strawberry picking robot, in particular the Spanish AgroBot one player in the UK car culture CMW Horticulture Ltd is a company that sells a robot. sizedpesticide. Injections for greenhouses and nurseries.
Little friends of farmers.
Harvest Automation robots are knee wheeled vehicles. Each robot has a gripper bank greed deck for pots, and a variety of sensors to track where it is and what's going on around the factory team of robots branches across the nursery, the distance between the metaphysical and combining this wall without E-doe-eyes and a pleasant personality and a little 1972 Sci-Fi bots wild rush "classic Silent Running.
The key to the work of a robot with the flexibility and cost-effectiveness is designed to work only with the data from their datchikov.Ustanovit robots, how far they have to go the wheel turns.
The robot is designed to be easy to use. Human workers with robots, which directs a group of potted plants and a small touch screen to select from a variety of graphical representation for identifying patterns and spacing distance of plants. Click the button to indicate that the robot looking edge to the right or left.
Simplicity is the key to make robots more affordable. Prices do not automatically collect. This target of $ 25,000 to $ 50,000 per unit, the robot is "better than we will save human labor [nurseries] to cover the costs of moving," Grinnell. said.
Labor pain.
In addition to handling labor costs nurseries concerned availability of labor, farm workers, "Take our jobs" campaign to attract unemployed Americans, seven farm workers in the first three years. ago. Anti Georgia on undocumented workers, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in unharvested crops "We rely heavily on migrant workers for babysitting" Demaline child Willoway "It. Hard to find enough workers.".
Baby Willoway plans to increase the annual harvest automation robots will begin next year, said Demaline children eventually will reduce the number of workers needed for 50 people, he said. "This is our bottom line," he said, "All that we reviewed suggests that it should be significant cost savings in a year or two years."
Baby Flowerwood, Inc in Loxley, Alabama to participate in the alpha test automation cleaning and plans to begin beta testing the robot said CEO and president of the kennel. General Ellis Ollinger Children Flowerwood interest in robotics is not just about work, he said. "Five-year initiative of our organization as a system, not only because of labor shortages.
Kids compression operations of its 120 days a year because of the growing season, the season Rico transportation, Ollinger said that "all that is in agriculture is about time," he said, "we have developed. Time every day." Robot from a distance and next year's crop, human workers can focus on the selection, processing, packing and loading plants this year, he said.
Improvement of culture as part of a plan to raise the robot automation capabilities, Grinnell said. Android will make it possible for children to gather information about each plant. This is valuable information, which is not cost effective for human workers in the collection, he said. "We will provide information on crop production, which will help them to reduce the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers," he said, "It will also help them improve the quality of the products they sell now."
Further down the road, Robot Harvest can also find work in construction, mining and manufacturing, warehouse, Grinnell said. Material handling robots can be different, and the size and cost of their compatibility with human workers can be a great opportunity, he said.
At the same time, do not be surprised if the next time you drive by planting shrubs appear to be moving by themselves. It was only in March of progress.