farm robot

Robots are Future Farmers of America?

MIT professor Mary “Missy” Cummings says that robots may begin playing a more significant role in the agriculture industry. According the CNBC report:

Another area primed for robotics is the farming industry. Farmers cannot find enough people to do the the field work, so crop dusting has become and up and coming technologies.

There are currently robot tractors and robot helicopters that exist that can coordinate and perform harvesting and crop dusting without humans, and this technology is ready to be adopted whenever a business model is figured out, Cummings said.

“The technology is pretty much ready to go. … I think it’s just making the connection to the business model. … I think we are there, we are on the cusp of that, but we just need the business model,” Cummings said.

Cummings estimates though that it will be about one to three years when these types of robotic farming equipment will be in use.

Many people fear that the use of robotics will lead to fewer jobs for humans. But, we see this as a potential opportunity for FFA members.  The agriculture industry of future may need engineers who can design these robots and people with enough skill and knowledge to operate them on the farm. So, if you’re someone who likes math, mechanics and/or computer technology, now is a great time to be planning a future career in agriculture!

For a more detailed explanation of the types of robotics currently in development for agriculture check out the article titled “These May be the Droids Farmers are Looking for” on Wired.com.

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