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. icon
    PopeRatzo (profile), 12 Jul 2013 @ 7:21pm

    Peak labor

    The people who lead our biggest economies are just not ready for what's going to happen when we just don't need to have everyone working in order to provide for the goods and services that we need and want. Here in the US, instead of adjusting to a lower workforce participation rate, we've spent the past 50 years, a period of greater automation AND far greater worker productivity INCREASING the workforce participation rate. Instead of looking at the benefits to be had from having people working less, we have corporations trying to get their workers to do more.

    On top of that, we have this superstitious Calvinist notion that "everybody has to work" or they are useless. That somehow, working all the time is a good thing - even that God wants us to work all the time (idle hands...).

    At least some of the more sophisticated economies in Northern Europe have figured out job sharing.

    What happens when we reach "peak labor"? What happens to people put out of work due to automation? We just don't need everyone to start their own business. Not everyone can or should be, an entrepreneur. How many maids and baristas do we really need? And are we willing to pay even the lowliest job a wage sufficient for survival (currently, we are not and we are fighting over whether to even have a minimum wage)?

    And finally, how long can we sustain an increasing consolidation of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer, especially considering that just may not need everyone to be working - or certainly not working so goddamn hard?

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