A chapter about robots in agriculture will be added to our E-Book, Living with Robots. We have recorded a very entertaining podcast with Eldert van Henten (Wageningen University) and Mark Brummel (Lely).
Together, they paint a picture about the future of agriculture and robotic stables. It looks like robots might bring an end to the monoculture in agriculture. It will be possible to create a good ecosystem by planting various crops on the same field. Robots will be able to recognise and harvest individual plants.
“Large scale cultivation like this is a much more organic way to grow crops” says author Bram Vermeer. “It reduces the amount of pesticides that need to be used and creates a much healthier soil.”
Robotisation of dairy farms reduces the workload of farmers. They will no longer have to wake up at 5am because the cows will go to the advanced milking machines on their own. The cows are motivated to do this because they get food as reward. Other robots can clean the stables and distribute the food based on the different diets of the cows.
“This turns the farmer into more of a manager than a physical labourer” says Vermeer. This is very convenient because the peasantry is aging and few young people are willing to pursue this profession. “The arrival of robots makes the profession more appealing. It is no longer the old, heavy peasantry, but using apps to check on cows.”
The e-book will be available as app for the iPhone this week. This is in addition to the already available apps for tablets and Android.