Get ready for robot farmers.

Mention robotics in agriculture and people think it’s R2D2 and C3PO going into the field. But that isn’t quite what they do.
On most lettuce farms, workers weave between rows to cull extra heads of lettuce crowding out the healthiest plants. The practice, called thinning, is labor-intensive and a labor shortage has made it difficult to find workers for the task. The product, the LettuceBot, is a “smart” farm implement that attaches to a tractor. Using cameras and algorithms, the machine measures plant size and assesses color, making split-second decisions about which lettuce plants to keep. The LettuceBot has put Blue River Technology at the forefront of a new trend: Entrepreneurs creating high-tech applications for agriculture.
Since the LettuceBot entered the market in 2013, the company has contracted with 20 farms, including four of the largest lettuce growers in the nation. There is currently more demand for the technology than the startup can accommodate.
The “ag tech” sector has experienced rapid growth. An average of 132 new ag tech startups launched each year between 2006 and 2012, with private sector investments topping $10 billion in 2010.
Several high-profile acquisitions have excited investors, but the promise for farmers is even greater.
source: cnn

briservGet ready for robot farmers.