Agricultural robots could revolutionize fresh-market fruit, veggie production, ease labor woes

  • Article by: GOSIA WOZNIACKA , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 14, 2013 - 2:51 PM

SALINAS, Calif. — On a windy morning in California's Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, metal contraption over rows of budding iceberg lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software on a laptop to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds.

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flusher75Jul. 14, 13 6:03 PM

My hay supplier says his baler is programed to shut down if the moisture content of the hay gets too high as he's baling. He also said his tractor can be programed to run by itself using GPS coordinates. Combine that with GPS maps of fertility, moisture and soil types and I could see a farmer running a fleet of unmanned tractors planting and harvesting crops. They could even be programmed to notify the farmer that they are headed towards the fuel tank for refueling.

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ztwoodsJul. 14, 13 6:38 PM

flusher75 - Then why would you need a farmer? All the food production could be handled remotely by a few IT guys from an office in silicon valley. If a vast majority of occupations become obsolete due to computers and robots doing the jobs, where are people going to work? There will only be so many tech positions needed, and then there will be bots to do their jobs. Mechanization isn't always a good thing.

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