Think your production nursery is too small to benefit now from recent improvements in robotics and artificial intelligence targeted towards broadscale cropping? University of Sydney researchers may just get you thinking again.
There has been much talk recently about how robots will improve farm productivity and environmental sustainability. We hear how driverless tractors, smart drones and irrigation technologies will drive automation in smart farms, monitor crop health and improve crop yields while reducing costs in the long term. Many potential users believe that technology is not quite ready for them to use. Robotic technology is perceived to favour large-scale farms pumping out high volumes of the same product.
Whilst recent robotic research has focussed on broadscale cropping in agriculture, there are opportunities to transfer that learning to other areas of the horticultural industry. Salah Sukkarieh, Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney is keen to make existing robotic technology available to growers now, including that which with some minor adaptions would be suitable for use in production nurseries.