• Agriculture

Debunking 5 Common Misconceptions About Agricultural Robots

  • Bear Flag
  • August 23, 2022

Since George Devo invented the first industrial robot in 1954, the application of robotics has provided vital energy and economic breakthroughs across several industries. One of the most significant beneficiaries of this technology is the agricultural sector.


For example, agricultural robots are now helping farm operators in improve productivity. These agricultural technologies automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks. In effect, these modern farming tools pave the way for faster field operations and produce higher agricultural yields, while mitigating labor shortage effects.


Among the numerous agriculture robots present today are unmanned aerial vehicles, milking robots, automated harvesting systems, autonomous tractors, unmanned ground vehicles, sorting and packing robots, and weed control robots.


Milking robots and drones are presently the most preferred agricultural technology today. However, based on current trends, autonomous tractors will likely outperform drones and milking robots within the next three to four years.


Increased usage of agricultural robotics technologies is also projected in the coming years. By 2026, the global agricultural robotics market is predicted to reach USD 11.9 billion. This projected rise is driven by the increasing food demand brought about by the rising population, along with shortages of farm field workers — agricultural concerns that agricultural robots help solve.


However, like with any other groundbreaking technology, misconceptions are circulating around the agricultural robots industry. This blog will dispel 5 of the most common misbeliefs about agricultural robots and explain the advantages of robots in agriculture.


Myth: Agricultural robots are complicated to use and require professional guidance.

Fact: Robots used in agriculture are easy to operate. They do not require professionals with specific degrees or certifications.


The vast majority of robotics in agriculture are currently pre-programmed with user-friendly software that can be accessed by a smartphone app anytime and anywhere. Most often than not, app-based control of agricultural robots is straightforward. In certain instances, minimum training will only be required to fully operate a robot, typically arranged by the technology provider.


For example, the Bear Flag-manufactured autonomous tractors come pre-installed with a software application interface that allows simple and straightforward control of the machine. The operator will only be responsible for inputting the command, prompting the agricultural robots’ built-in artificial intelligence technology to carry out the function.


Myth: Agricultural robots are expensive.

Fact: These farming robots are cost-effective.


Increased productivity and crop yield are the most significant advantages of robots in agriculture, making this investment cost-effective.


The fieldwork that agricultural robots can do in a certain period can exceed humans’ manual effort. Aside from their quick pace, these farming robots also promote efficiency: they may operate 24 hours daily without pauses, shift changes, or vacations. Increased operating hours enable more produce to be generated in shorter cycles.


Inefficient farming practices, on the other hand, can significantly influence a farming company’s bottom line. Compared with utilizing agricultural robots, traditional farming operations will result in lower outputs, longer cycle times, and higher costs. And even small-scale farms can purchase agricultural robots. Bear Flag, for example, charges a simple, straightforward price per acre, making it perfect even for smaller farms. Farm owners can also choose a field for a trial run and begin with only one or two tractors, paying only for what was used.


Myth: Agricultural robots will take away jobs.

Fact: Robots on farms help streamline farmers’ work, not take it away.


Even if there are a significant number of robots operating in the fields, farmers’ supervision and decision-making abilities will still remain extremely valuable. And agricultural robots assist farmers in coming to those decisions. The data that agricultural robots collect in the field are helpful to understand plant and soil health.


But at the end of the day, a human element is still necessary to take action on these pieces of information, plot out the path that the robots will take, and to determine which techniques to implement based on these robots’ data analyses. Because of the availability of this technology, farmers are now able to formulate these plans and have their equipment and robots carry them out.


Myth: Agricultural robots are only for 1% of farms.

Fact: Robots on farms are becoming mainstream.


Agricultural robots are more widely used today because they answer existing farming concerns. One of such is the farmer shortage, which springs from the fact that younger people in the rural areas are now moving to the urban areas and/or pursuing employment in other sectors. As farmlands continue to be undermanned, agricultural robots help farmers meet their outputs through these machines’ efficient operations.


This is something that many farm owners are aware of, which translates to increased use of agricultural robots on farms. Research indicates that 435,000 individual robotic units were purchased in 2021. Just in North America, 2021 recorded a 32% increase in corporate orders for robotic systems. Analysts even anticipate that the agricultural robotics industry in North America will capture a substantial portion of the global market. This is expected to be attributable to the region’s high per-capita disposable income as well as its increased adoption of cutting-edge technology, and research and development endeavors.


Myth: Agricultural robots are dangerous.

Fact: Farming robots have multiple safety features and follow strict safety standards.


The development of agricultural robotics prioritizes worker protection. For instance, Bear Flag’s tractors come equipped with an emergency stop feature that enables the driver to instantly turn the vehicle off during an emergency situation. They are also equipped with redundant sensors and radars, which prevent it from colliding with any object.

In addition, the Robotics Industry Association (RIA) has established safety recommendations and standards for industrial robots. These standards include risk assessments that can identify robotic safety issues, protections that can be implemented to limit the likelihood of injuries and accidents, and risk prevention concerns for collaborative robots, commonly known as Cobots. In the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) also maintains various workplace safety standards, controlled and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Workplace safety regulations are a worldwide concern. The International Organization of Standardization oversees many occupational safety standards to ensure consistency and repetition from country to country.


Welcoming The Dawn Of Agricultural Robots


An agricultural robot, also known as an agribot or agbot, is an autonomous machine used in agriculture to increase efficiency and ease the work of farmers. Agricultural robots automate tedious and monotonous tasks for farmers, freeing up their time, which allows them to focus on raising overall output yields.


However, like with any burgeoning technology, the use of agricultural robots are shrouded in myth. Bear Flag’s autonomous tractors are designed to ease the workload of farmers, making them do more with less, ultimately supporting a more sustainable farming practice.


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  • Bear Flag
  • August 23, 2022