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Farm Robots

Farm Robots

Robot PickerRobots could be helping to operate agricultural farms within the next 5 years and it looks as though robotics are going to be the next big thing within agriculture in Australia.

"Within the next 5 years we are going to see some of this (robotic) equipment available at competitive, commercial prices start appearing on farms," states professor Gordon Wyeth from the Queensland University of Technology.

"(However) We are not talking about using robots to replace people, (they will) be used to increase productivity with the same, or possibly more, people."

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT), based in Brisbane, has recently received AUD$3m funding from the Queensland state budget in order to research the potential of robots performing different agricultural functions on farms and fields.

This exciting news follows the recent development of the AgBot, also conceptualised by the team at QUT.

Professor Wyeth stated that robots could save the wheat industry a staggering AUD$620m annually.

Further, the robots could significantly reduce farm labour costs.

"This is the kind of thing that is perhaps going to take some of the people who want to go off to the mines at the moment, to instead think, 'no thanks, I'm going to head out to the farms because they are pretty exciting, forward-thinking places'," he said.

Professor Wyeth also stated that said Australia's high wages compared with other nations posed a challenge for the growing population.

"We value our quality of life and we want to be able to be keep paying good wages."

"So what we want to create is the good jobs that go with the good wages - and robotics can play a role there so we get rid of the dirty-doll tasks and replace them with hi-tech tasks."

"Why shouldn't agriculture be reaping the benefits of these advances in robotics as well?"


This news item is based on the James Wagstaff article Robots on the Rise