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

Robotics technology for picking farm produce

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/7682960854
Farm workers in India. Picture by Vinoth Chandar

By Nandini Kranti 

The use of robotics technology in industrial systems is quite common, but in the agricultural sector, robotics and automation technology still retains a novelty and fascination, and is still to make a widespread impact on labor-intensive tasks.

The discussion on man versus machine has come too far. Artificial intelligence was the key addition that tipped scales in favor of the latter. Precise and iterative line functions in industrial processes are handled by well-programmed robots.

Material handling is seldom an issue in this setup since a great deal of customization goes into each design in the pre-installation phase.  Continue reading Robotics technology for picking farm produce

Robots emerging as agricultural co-workers

agricultural robots field1
Vege-bot Lettuce Harvester (University of Cambridge), 3D imaging project for robotic harvesting (University of Lincoln)

The technology is mature and ready for the field, say experts

Advanced engineering could be the solution for the sustainable intensification of agriculture, as technology for producing service robots reaches maturity.

Experts in robotics from University of Cambridge, University of Lincoln and Harper Adams University will be discussing the latest developments during Agri-Tech East’s Pollinator event on 11 October 2016.

So what exactly is a robot?  Continue reading Robots emerging as agricultural co-workers

Raspberry Pi could help farmers manage crops better and more cheaply than current systems, say scientists

Rasperry Pi computers are being used to manage crops on farms
Scientists are using Raspberry Pi computers to manage large-scale farms

Raspberry Pi may be strongly associated with hobbyists, but now it’s been recruited as a farm hand. 

Inventors of the credit-card sized computers have shipped more than 5 million units at less than $50 each since launch in 2012. Most of them have found their way into toy cars and other devices.

But now a team of researchers has integrated Raspberry Pi into what’s called an “automated field phenomics” system, or what could be thought of as a sophisticated scarecrow. And the team claims their system will cost a fraction of the phenotyping solutions currently on the market.  Continue reading Raspberry Pi could help farmers manage crops better and more cheaply than current systems, say scientists