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Future of Farming Geared for Efficient Robotic Workers

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robatnorcross
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Gold
Re: Picker robot
robatnorcross   11/29/2012 4:48:37 PM
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I'd really like to see how well it works when covered in mud. Seems to me that the humans (won't mention any particular nationality) will still be needed to go find the mud caked tiny robots that are stuck in the goo out in the fields and deliver them to "technicians" to repair.

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Picker robot
Jack Rupert, PE   11/29/2012 9:41:58 PM
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The size of these do present the question of reliablity in various conditions.  This is especially true since crops need to be picked in a relatively short time period.  If they are "pickable" (I hesitate to use the word "ripe" since the ripening might take place out of the field), they need to be picked right way rather than waiting for the field to firm up.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Ambivalent Response
Rob Spiegel   11/29/2012 11:26:53 PM
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Good point, Cabe. Yet it's a long tradition of technology displacing workers. The printing press displaced thousands of scribes. Remember secretaries? Thankfully, in most cases, the jobs that are displaced are mind-numbing and soul-killing.

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Ambivalent Response
Cabe Atwell   11/30/2012 12:12:05 AM
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Even though these jobs are soul-crushing. I have to admit, I felt more crushed in many of the engineering jobs I've had. At the time, I fantasized about doing manual labor jobs at those times.

All those printing press people, elevator operators, not all of them recovered. They instead just lost themselves to annals of time. Never to recover. It's a tough world.

C

Tim
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Picker robot
Tim   11/30/2012 7:14:03 AM
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Good point about the mud. The robots do not seem to be as reliable as a John Deere combine. Hopeefully they utilize sealed bearings and cylinders.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Ambivalent Response
Rob Spiegel   11/30/2012 9:50:51 AM
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Good points, Cabe. The displacement of jobs can have a dreary effect. And you're right that even intellectual jobs can be less than exciting. Sometimes I think that writing is manual labor of the mind.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Picker robot
Cabe Atwell   11/30/2012 4:15:53 PM
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Thought is the movie The Matrix comes to mind with robotic farming. The bots toiled in fields of their "human-batteries." Upscale the bots, and they will do just that, but with soy-beans.. not the human race.

C

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Size & Scale
jmiller   11/30/2012 10:49:34 PM
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I agree most likely the next steps will be to incorporate current machines with newer technlogies.  Right now we see a lot of GPS and mapping of yields and soils types and some use of automation to cntrol vehicles.  I don't think it will be long before the tractors will drive themselves.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Picker robot
jmiller   11/30/2012 10:52:08 PM
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You do make a good point.  Often areas of a crop might be pickable while others are not.   And it will take time to develop a way for the robots to differentiate from ready fruit to non ready fruit.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Ambivalent Response
jmiller   11/30/2012 10:54:50 PM
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In a lot of ways so many farming jobs have already been lost due to the size of the machinery and the automation of different tasks.  It would be interesting to see how many jobs have already been lost due to technology.  At the same time, this technology is increasing the amount of food being grown with less people and less energy.

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