ZF testing driverless tractors and combine harvesters using new AI computing device

ZF, the German company known worldwide for its automotive technology, has launched a new computing device specifically aimed at making combine harvesters, tractors and other farming vehicles more autonomous.

The new device, which features artificial intelligence, is called the “ZF ProAI” processor unit.

The company will be demonstrating the new technology at Agritechnica, an event to showcase agricultural machinery.  Continue reading ZF testing driverless tractors and combine harvesters using new AI computing device

Paperful office: An overview of the global forestry, pulp and paper industry

 

Back in the old days, everybody would buy newspapers and magazines. Some would buy dailies, others would buy weeklies, while millions more would buy monthlies. And no one would quibble about having to pay for them, probably because most people sense that a physical, tangible object has a greater intrinsic value than a digital one. 

That old print media reading culture has all but gone now, thanks largely to the internet and the worldwide web making all manner of information available largely free of charge. No one expects, or wants, to pay for news and content any more, probably because most people think digital media should be free because they know how easy it is to make copies of digital files.

There are still many printed publications doing very well and selling in large quantities, and a list of some of the top 10 is offered below, but even the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun – which holds the world record at 13 million copies sold in one day – has lost huge numbers of readers.  Continue reading Paperful office: An overview of the global forestry, pulp and paper industry

B&R to present condition monitoring solution at Agritechnica

 

Automation company B&R is planning to showcase its condition monitoring solution for mobile automation, designed specifically for the agricultural sector.

B&R will be presenting the solution at this year’s Agritechnica exhibition – scheduled for November 12-18 in Hanover. B&R will be in hall A05, at booth 15.

Visitors will be able to see how advanced automation solutions can be implemented based on a comprehensive hardware portfolio, ready-made software components and a powerful engineering tool, says B&R.  Continue reading B&R to present condition monitoring solution at Agritechnica

Telit and Husqvarna collaborate on robots for urban park sustainability program

 

Telit, a provider of internet of things technologies, is supplying appliance maker Husqvarna with a wireless sensor device for its city robotic mower pilot program. 

The sensor was co-developed by Telit and Wireless System Integration, a Sweden-based design house developing wireless products and systems.

The sensor will be used by Husqvarna mowers to collect data about the environment, the quality of air, water, and levels of light and sound, while maintaining the cities’ green spaces.  Continue reading Telit and Husqvarna collaborate on robots for urban park sustainability program

ABB robot hatches 30 per cent more eggs for Singapore egg farm

 

Growing demand for locally-farmed eggs prompted Seng Choon Farm, to turn to automation in an effort to increase its production capacity

In April this year, ABB installed and commissioned a robotic palletizing system at Seng Choon Farm’s 36 acre site in north-west Singapore, to support increased production output as well as the company’s future expansion plans.

Since then, the robotic palletizing system, that stacks heavy boxes and baskets of eggs onto pallets, has raised the farm’s productivity by 30 per cent.

Before the robotic system was installed, workers would manually stack the cartons and baskets of eggs onto the pallets, with a single worker lifting about 15 tons of eggs a day.  Continue reading ABB robot hatches 30 per cent more eggs for Singapore egg farm

Universal Logic to supply 100 Neocortex robotic systems for Agricultural Robotics

 

Universal Logic is to provide 100 of its Neocortex robotic systems to Agricultural Robotics. 

The two companies have entered a memorandum of understanding which stipulates the provision of artificial intelligence systems for automation in agriculture.

Agricultural Robotics is a consortium of strawberry plant suppliers representing 80 per cent of the strawberry nursery production in North America, producing 500 million plants a year.  Continue reading Universal Logic to supply 100 Neocortex robotic systems for Agricultural Robotics

Bosch and Bayer working on precision agriculture systems

 

Industrial giant Bosch is teaming up with Bayer, one of the world’s largest biotech companies, to develop precision agriculture systems which they say could help improve harvests by 50 per cent. 

Precision agriculture is a term that refers to the increasing use of technologies such as drones, robots, computers and data analytics in farming. These technologies essentially help farmers micro-manage their farms. Other terms used include smart agriculture and even Agriculture 4.0, but they refer to the same thing.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that farmers around the world will need to increase yields – the volume of crops they harvests – by 50 per cent by 2050 in order to feed the increasing global population.  Continue reading Bosch and Bayer working on precision agriculture systems

Deepfield Robotics to showcase precision agriculture technology at Agrilevante

 

Deepfield Robotics is preparing to showcase its robotics and automation technologies for the agriculture market at the Agrilevante event, in Italy.  

The company is a startup established by industrial giant Bosch, and has a variety of solutions for the burgeoning precision agriculture market.  Continue reading Deepfield Robotics to showcase precision agriculture technology at Agrilevante

Spanish farm produce supplier reduces human workers from 500 to 100 using robots

 

Spanish farm produce supplier El Dulze has reduced its human workforce from 500 down to just 100 with the use of robots, according to a report on FruitNet.com

The company is said to be using Fanuc robots – LR Mate 200iB models – which use vision systems to even out the production line so the vegetables are not bunched up too close together for packing.

The robots also appear to be picking heads of lettuce and placing them in containers, or plastic packaging.  Continue reading Spanish farm produce supplier reduces human workers from 500 to 100 using robots

University of Illinois presents its TerraSentia farming robot to investors

Scientists at the University of Illinois, in the US, have presented agricultural robot technology which they say can save significant amounts of time and money in farm labour costs. 

The TerraSentia mobile robot for precision agriculture is being marketed by a startup company called EarthSense, presumably a spin-out from the university.

Developed with support from the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, the TerraSentia costs $5,000.  Continue reading University of Illinois presents its TerraSentia farming robot to investors

Baumüller develops new drive concepts for large mobile machinery

Baumüller is preparing to showcase individual drive concepts and industry-specific components for mobile working machines at Agritechnica 2017, to be held in Hannover, Germany from November 12-18, 2017. 

The Nuremberg- based drive and automation specialist will present its motors and systems in hall 17 at booth H05.

Experts at the trade fair will present their services for the design, engineering and development of individual drive solutions for agricultural technology.  Continue reading Baumüller develops new drive concepts for large mobile machinery

John Deere to buy lettuce farming robot maker Blue River Technology

John Deere, the farming machinery giant, has reached a deal to buy lettuce farming robot maker Blue River Technology for $305 million. 

Blue River also provides a range of other technology solutions – such as a weed killing machine, drone sensing and phenotyping solutions – to the precision agriculture sector, principally using machine learning.

The lettuce farming robot is called LettuceBot, and is one of the company’s newer products.

John May, president, agricultural solutions, and chief information officer at Deere, says: “We welcome the opportunity to work with a Blue River Technology team that is highly skilled and intensely dedicated to rapidly advancing the implementation of machine learning in agriculture.  Continue reading John Deere to buy lettuce farming robot maker Blue River Technology

Vertical farms in urban areas ready to grow after harvesting tons of seed money

Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you probably understand what “vertical farming” is. 

Unlike some buzz phrases, it sounds like what it means – farms built upwards, inside a building on multiple levels, unlike traditional farms, which occupy large, flat, single-level fields, covering thousands of acres of earth if done on an industrial scale.

The concept of vertical farms has been around a long time, but perhaps only now is the technology available to sustain the sector commercially.  Continue reading Vertical farms in urban areas ready to grow after harvesting tons of seed money

Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

A company called Plenty claims it has attracted the “largest-ever agriculture technology investment”. 

The company says the investment will drive its development of its global, large-scale indoor farm network to deliver “radically fresher, affordable food to local communities everywhere”.

Plenty describes itself as a “field-scale indoor farming company remaking the global food system”.  Continue reading Plenty attracts ‘largest-ever agriculture technology investment’ led by SoftBank to develop indoor farms in city centres

Global agriculture robots market driven by ‘high population growth and food shortages’

The global market for agricultural robots is forecast to exceed $5 billion by 2024, according to a report. 

The Global Agriculture Robots Market Report, published by Variant Market Research, predicts the global market will reach $5,214 million by 2024 from $968 million in 2016 – growing at an annual rate of 23.4 per cent from 2016 to 2024.

By geography, Asia Pacific and rest of the world are expected to grow at 24.7 per cent and 24.1 per cent respectively, during the forecast period.  Continue reading Global agriculture robots market driven by ‘high population growth and food shortages’