Automation in Agricultural Equipment and Technology

The world's population is increasing very fast, and the demand for food and energy is exponentially increasing. On the other hand, the agricultural lands are affected by urbanization, natural disasters and desertification. Simultaneously, it must reduce the fuel used in the agricultural application and must increase production. Also, the COVID pandemic taught a lesson on the value of clean food, healthy life and the importance of agriculture to the whole world.

There is a famous saying by the first president of the United States, George Washington, "Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man". Due to various economic, social, political, and environmental issues, the global agricultural workforce is reducing, and each farmer is forced to be responsible for a greater area of land. Therefore to resolve the problems and to lead society forward, we must change the trend to automation.


Automation is mainly based on sensors, controllers, actuators and computer-aided technology. Automation in agriculture is implemented by integrating agricultural equipment and applying precision farming technologies. The conventional farming tractors can be replaced with automated robot vehicles, which can do the harvesting, rice transplanting, plant and seed the crops and fertilizing. The robot vehicles are supposed to follow the predetermined paths, control of hitch, engine speed, and follow the geographical information system (GIS) base and manual drive playback, which includes a chemical application, harvesting, cultivation and transfer between shed and field. These missions are fulfilled with a navigation sensor, which gets the location details from a satellite navigation system such as a real-time kinematic Global positioning system (RTK GPS), GLONASS, GALILEO and compass. With the advancement of technology, we may use microelectromechanical systems, Nanotechnology, and Coriolis sensors in future bots.

However, the safety of the bots and surrounding is controlled by obstacle sensors or computer vision. Even though sensors are an essential part of automation, computer vision and machine learning are used to apply precision farming. The robots with machine vision that supply information about weed infestation, crop maturity status, and animals' nomadism are called intelligent bots. Computer vision technology's strength has been drastically improved with the development of technologies such as Graphics Processing Units (GPU), Deep Belief Networks (DBN) and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence.

Also, it must be remembered that the use of water requirement for horticulture is successfully reduced by using drones and an automated water supply system. The sensor that measures the moisture and temperature of soil helps to generate a signal for water requirement. Also, rainy days gives the alert about the excess water which affects the crop.

Automation is a solution to the energy crisis. It takes towards using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, which can be easily accessed and successfully implemented in agricultural land. Also, the horticulture crop waste due to insect attack, insufficient or excess water content in soil and weed infestation is reduced by intelligent robots. Therefore, automation in agriculture is a sophisticated way to lead the future of agriculture to clean and highly efficient food production.

Drones

Used for watering,

Internet of Things

Nutrient report and Climate report

Robots

Nursery Planting

March , 6th 2020

Dhushintha