Robots Roll into the Field

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Robots are increasingly taking over routine farm tasks, reducing labor costs and freeing farmers to concentrate on analysis and planning

In California and Spain, robots now judge ripeness and harvest individual strawberries. Others handle nursery tasks. Out in the field, one company’s prototype is designed to dig holes, plant seeds and add chemical inputs, walking in any direction while avoiding obstacles. A group of such machines could cover an entire field together. Another model is already at work turning cheeses in a chilly aging cellar, a job no one relished. Breeders eventually may modify crops for easier robotic handling.

Robots Roll into the Field