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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

'Farms Are Going to Need Different Kinds of Robots'


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Cows with satellite-linked tracking tags attached to their ears.

From autonomous harvesting robots and drones that can spray crops, to artificial intelligence, and the use of "big data", farmers around the world are turning to high-tech solutions to address issues ranging from food insecurity, to climate change, and pandemic-induced staff cuts.

Credit: Ceres Tag

Farmers worldwide are using new precision-farming technologies to address agricultural issues, ranging from autonomous harvesting robots to crop-spraying drones to artificial intelligence.

For example, Irish company Moocall makes a smartphone-linked sensor that fits to the tail of a pregnant cow, which sends texts to the farmer when calving is imminent.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)'s Girish Chowdhary believes largely autonomous farms are close to reality, and UIUC's Distributed Autonomous Systems Laboratory is testing many emerging technologies, including crop-monitoring robots.

Chowdhary envisions farms using different kinds of robots, with an autonomous system coordinating their various operations.

From BBC News
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