Rise of robots down on the farm | News


To your right, an unmanned tractor trundles intelligently by. On your left is a herd of cattle wearing Fitbit-style monitors. Above, a swarm of drones is analysing your crops from the air.

This may be your field, but there is no real need for you to be there. It is a farm of the future. But experts believe that within a few years it could be a reality.

With the industry facing issues including an ageing workforce, environmental regulations on pesticides and Covid-19, start-ups are seeking big yields from “agri-tech”. The burgeoning sector received an estimated $2.8 billion of investment worldwide last year.

The robot’s cameras scan soft fruit to judge when they are ready to be picked. It checks for defects then pops the strawberries in punnets

The robot’s cameras scan soft fruit to judge when they are ready to be picked. It checks for defects then pops the strawberries in punnets

TOM KNOWLES

Even the world’s largest tech giants are seeing an opportunity. This week Google announced the launch of a new agricultural unit called



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