Farm robots are the future.Researchers insist that preparations begin now – Floridanewstimes.com

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This figure shows a utopian farm robot scenario. Credit: Natalis Lorenz No longer science fiction, agricultural robots are already here. Agricultural economist Thomas Daum claims in a Science & Society article published in the journal on July 13 that he has created two extreme possibilities for the future of agriculture and its environmental impact. Ecology & Evolution Trends.. One is Utopia, a fleet of small, intelligent robots that farm in harmony with nature and produce a wide variety of organic crops. The other is a dystopia where robots like large tractors conquer the landscape with heavy machinery and artificial chemicals. He describes the utopian scenario as a mosaic of lush green fields, streams and wildlife. There, a fleet of small robots fueled by sustainable energy flies around the fields, vortices mixing with the barking of insects and the chirping of birds. “It’s like the Garden of Eden,” says Daum, a researcher at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, who studies agricultural development strategies. “Small robots can help protect biodiversity and combat climate change in ways never before possible.” He suggests that the utopian scenario, which is too labor-intensive for traditional agriculture but is possible with robots that operate 24/7, is likely to benefit the environment in many ways. .. The plants will be more diverse and the soil will be more nutritious. Thanks to biopesticide microspray and laser weed removal, nearby water, insect populations and soil bacteria will also be healthier. Yields on organic crops (currently often lower than traditional crops) will be higher and the environmental footprint of agriculture will be significantly reduced. But he states that a parallel future that has a negative impact on the environment is possible as much as possible. In that scenario, he says, large but technically crude robots destroy the natural landscape, and some single-crop crops dominate the terrain. Large fences isolate people, farms, and wildlife from each other. When humans are removed from the farm, pesticides and pesticides can be used more widely. The ultimate goal is structure and control. The quality at which these simple robots thrive, but can have a negative impact on the environment. He points out that the future is unlikely to be limited to either pure utopia or pure dystopia, but by creating these two scenarios, Daum says he is at a crossroads of time. I want to stimulate the conversation with what I think. “Utopia and dystopia are both possible from a technical point of view, but without proper guardrails in policy, we can fall into dystopia undesirably if we don’t discuss this now.” Says Daum. This figure shows a dystopian farm robot scenario. Credit: Natalis Lorenz However, these effects are not limited to the environment, but also to the general public. “Robot farming can have a specific impact on you as a consumer,” he says. “Utopia isn’t just about producing grains. There are so many fruits and vegetables that have lower relative prices that make a healthier diet more affordable.” The small robot described in Daum’s utopian scenario is Small farmerSomeone who can buy and share them more easily through services like Uber.In contrast, he has a family farm He says he is unlikely to survive in a dystopian scenario. Only large manufacturers can manage vast lands and high-cost large machines, he says. In parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, where many small farms currently exist, there are obvious benefits of making conscious efforts to achieve the utopian scenario. The situation is even more difficult in countries such as the United States, Russia and Brazil, where historically large farms producing large amounts of low-value grains and oil seeds have been the mainstream. There, small robots, which are inefficient for energy-intensive tasks such as corn threshing, are not always the most economically effective option. “That’s true Small robot It’s more difficult in these areas, “he says. “Even with large robots, or a mix of small and large robots, practices such as intercropping, hedgerows, agroforestry, and moving from large farmers can take a step towards utopia. A small plot of land owned by a large farmer. Previously uneconomical practices would be profitable, so if robots could work, some of those practices might even reward farmers. Hmm.” Daum says that action is needed now to do so. Some aspects of utopian scenarios such as laser weeding have already been developed and are ready for widespread distribution, but to develop robots that are intelligent enough to adapt to complex unstructured farm systems. , Need to invest in other aspects of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Policy changes are also required and may take the form of subsidies, regulations, or taxes. “In the European Union, for example, farmers make money by providing certain landscape services, such as the large number of trees and rivers on their farms,” he says. It may seem like a dystopian scenario, but it’s not the only way forward. “I think utopia is achievable,” says Daum. “It’s not as easy as dystopia, but it’s very possible.” For more information: Ecology and evolutionary trends, Daum: “Farm Robots: Ecological Utopia or Dystopia?” www.cell.com/trends/ecology-ev… 0169-5347 (21) 00175-0 , DOI: 10.1016 / j.tree.2021.06.002 Quote: Farm robots are the future.Get ready now, researchers got (July 13, 2021) July 13, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-farm-robots-future.html Claims This document is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced without written permission, except for fair transactions for personal investigation or research purposes. The content is provided for informational purposes only. Source link Farm robots are the future.Researchers insist that preparations begin now
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