Robotics and Internet of Things in Agriculture

Hanna Totsching
February 17, 2022

Our houses, cars and objects of daily use are becoming our best friends: they measure, detect, and collect data about what we are doing and what is happening around us. By analyzing these data points, they are able to give us back valuable information to increase the quality of our life. Thanks to recent innovative technologies, also agricultural machines, weather stations and in-field equipment are becoming "smarter". New solutions can drive themselves, take decisions, provide real-time overview and complex analyses. What they have in common is the goal to reduce the number of daily operational activities that make farmers life too busy.

Very effective tools in this sense are robots and the Internet of Things, meaning networks of physical objects, that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies, so that they can connect to and exchange data with the Internet. Hereafter we provide you with an overview on how these robots and IoT solutions are implemented in agriculture and with some examples regarding the utilization of drones, IoTs in farming and smart agricultural machines.

Utilization of drones

Drones are autonomous aircrafts, flying over specific areas. In the application to agriculture, they are able to take pictures or videos, while flying over fields and orchards.
Aerobotics leverages its drones to support fruit growers in orchard management, problem tree identification, pest and disease management and yield management. GeoVisual focuses also on the optimization of harvest activities and labor costs, while Greensight is able to customize drones with sensors, in order to provide the most relevant information to the single users.

IoT in farming

Image source Mycroclime

IoT systems in agriculture can leverage soil and weather sensors to provide valuable insights, as for example Agranimo, which provides the user with sensors working on micro-climate analysis. More into the direction of pest monitoring, Trapview offers an insect trap combined with sensors to be placed into the orchard, that monitors and lure all kinds of insects. As a last example, Mycroclime offers a custom IoT solution for agriculture, which combines different sensors with the possibility to integrate them in a cloud system.

Smart agriculture machines

Image source Agerris

If autonomous driving is still on its development as concerns cars, it is already a must-have for machines in agriculture. Thanks to sensors and remote control, farmers can �drive� and check on their tractors and machines, almost without leaving the house.
Agerris has developed field robots, who are able to move around the orchard and provide specific information about their operational areas, becoming advisers, sprayers, mappers and yield estimators for the grower. Tracdrone can replace workforce in all those time-consuming everyday activities with an unmanned remotely controlled tractor. In the direction of providing support in harvesting and pollination, Roboticsplus has developed an unmanned ground vehicle that can help growers in the main steps of fruit seasons.

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