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Huge Benefits in Robots, Says Bosch Deepfield Robotics in Germany

FARMERS can improve yields and profits with robotic tech­nology, a German engineering company says.

Article by Shannon Twomey

Dr Amos Albert, who is the chief executive of Bosch Deepfield­ Robotics in Germany, discussed the benefits of farming with robotics at a recent­ global innovations horticulture­ seminar.

Dr Albert said estimates showed agricultural yields needed to increase by 3 per cent a year to keep up with population growth.

“In 1950, a farmer would have been able to grow around 2500kg of wheat per hectare of cropland. Today, that figure has more than tripled,” Dr Amos said.

“This is where an agricultural robot can play a part as well as innovative agricultural technology, improved crop protection and more efficient plant breeding.

“Our robot, the Bonirob, is named after a plant appraisal process, which is known in German as Bonitur.”

Dr Albert said a robot’s ability­ to complete automatic image recognition with scanners­ and a camera was beneficial.

“In painstaking manual work in the field, plant scientists examine and analyse thousands of plants, recording the size and colour of their leaves, the size and shape of fruits, growth forms, insect infestation­, and chlorophyll content,” he said.

“Based on these findings, they then decide which plant strains are worth pursuing further­.

“Without this robot, it can take up to 10 years before improved crops are ready for the market.”

Deepfield Robotics was established in 2014 and is a joint project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture with experts from Bosch, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and the agricultural machinery manufacturer Amazone.


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