DailyDirt: Robots For Farming

Robots are perfect for tedious and boring tasks, and they seem to be well-suited for the repetitive labor of farming. More and more robots are getting into the farming industry, with the potential to displace a lot of human labor. It might take some time before robots are growing a significant portion of our food supply, but farming technology could solve a lot of problems (and create a few more labor problems as well). Here are just a few more farming robots that might take over our farms. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: agriculture, ai, farming, harvest, helicopters, hydroponic, image recognition, lettuce, pesticides, rmax, robots, weeds
Companies: blue river technology, hortiplan

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  1. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, 14 Jul 2013 @ 2:24am

    Retirement Age, to: PopeRatzo, #5, Jul 13th, 2013 @ 4:40am

    Well, as I see it, a practical measure in the short run is going to be something like lowering the retirement age, tweaking Social Security, Medicare, and Disability Insurance, and by doing so, mopping up some unemployment. Of course, organizing the change will require some financial legerdemain, but that is another story. The automobile industry tried to do this, twenty and thirty years ago, but, without access to government funding, they eventually went broke, trying to run their own welfare state. There was a kind of earlier analogy. Circa 1929-30, General Electric tried to run its own "new deal," but it ran out of money, and had to give up, and wait for Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be voted into office. Lowering the retirement age is a comparatively good solution, because it does not involve making people think about work in new ways.

    As it is, you're trying to put the clock back. To take the example of salad greens, LED gro-lamps have reached the point where they are competitive with the sun, at least for vegetable growing. Combine those with a small hydroponic unit, with robots, and you can put the system in the basement where it stays reasonably warm, even in a cold winter. The commercial growers have to compete with a home system of this kind. The high-end customers, the ones who are fussiest about pesticides and so on, will be the first to buy their own hydroponic greenhouses. If you can't prevent the ultimate customers from producing their own, you are in no position to impose requirements on a commercial producer.

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