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Gardening & Agriculture Gardening & Agriculture General

#Drones, robots and agriculture. The future of farming.

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by: Hans van der Broek
#Drones, robots and agriculture. The future of farming.

This is how the farm of the future looks like - full of robots and drones

What does a digital farm look like in the coming years and decades? Probably more and more like a fully automated farm where the robot replaces the farmers staff, where the farmer from behind his laptop runs wireless yard, stable and field and where smart robots work the farmland.

Business Insider France received a taste of tomorrow's farm at the Salon International de l'Agriculture (SIA, Paris), the annual international agricultural fair that was held recently in France. This time at the fair not only animals and local products, but also 'Agri 4.0', the state of what is called 'La Ferme Digitale', a club of about twenty start-ups in the agri sector.

Agri 4.0 gives an idea of ​​how our farm will probably look like in the future. What is also the first to be noticed is that the innovations shown mainly focus on the cereal growers and wine growers.

There it is: the multifunctional autonomous robot that will replace the tractor


A gey black robot agruculture machine PUMAgri on display
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France.

This is PUMAgri, the robot developed by SITIA and Irstea, the French national research institute for agriculture and the environment, that will replace the tractor. The PUMAgri has a hybrid engine and will be put into operation in good condition in 2019. Especially interesting for gardeners and wine growers.

The PUMAgri has a so-called three-point lifting device - just like ordinary tractors that also have - on which various agricultural implements can be mounted. This PUMAgri is equipped with a weed killer.

The leaves in the middle draw the weeds, which grow between the rows of plants, with root and all out of the ground. The circular knives next to it do the rest. The robot works much more accurately than a tractor and is controlled by sensors and 3D cameras.

A drone maps the agricultural area and indicates which parts need to be treated


The #Airinov drone seen from above
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France.

The company Airinov uses drones equipped with sensors (in the green box in the middle) flying at 150 meters above the ground to map it. Airinov sells this service to cooperatives or traders. A drone can map 400 hectares of land per day.

The drones collect valuable data so that the modern farmer knows exactly which field needs which treatment


Infra red black and white image from plantation
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France. (Exmetrics).

Exametrics also uses the drones to collect data on the health of the vine plants. The vintner can thus see at a glance how ripe a particular parcel is, get a picture of the topography and the condition of the terrain or determine whether and how much irrigation should be given, an idea of ​​the amount of wood and foliage of the plantings.

According to Henri Borreil, co-founder of Airino, agricultural entrepreneurs can optimize the use of their raw materials (such as manure) thanks to the drones, they do not have to treat crops that do not need treatment and can accurately predict the yield per plot.

Borreil notes that agricultural entrepreneurs have to learn to look at their company in a different way if they really want to reap the benefits of this technological innovation. Borreil sees a lot of restraint and an inability to adapt their way of working, especially in the larger corporations.

This device distributes capsules with small insects that make short work of the buxus moth, a butterfly like that does good to the corn.


Drone with capsules hanging on a green ceiling
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France.

These micro insects are membrane wings that are used worldwide as biological weapons against pest insects such as leaf-eating caterpillars or, in this case, the buxus moth.

This robot maps the vines to be treated and, depending on the need, the vine is sprayed.


Sika robot seen from aside, 2 wheels
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France.

Much smaller than the PUMAgri, this prototype from the stable of Irsteace can work together with another robot on the other side of the vines. The robot is equipped to collect surplus products and residual waste and thus reduce pollution.

And with this GPS box, agri-entrepreneurs can keep an eye on all their rolling stock.


Karnott Box, green painted on display
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France.

The box manufactured by startup Karnott can attach itself to any machine or vehicle and provides valuable information such as: how often the device has been used, the distance it has traveled and the terrain it has traveled - for example by vibrating the engine. register and analyze.

Such information is especially interesting for farmers who share their equipment, especially when they are in a cooperative where equipment is shared and where use must be transparent for the settlement. The robot also forwards the collected data directly to a central database.

This artificial ground cover prevents the growth of weeds and collects rainwater.


Green plants growing up from a white soil cover
Photo: Damien Choppin/Business Insider France.

The startups Inovinéa and l'Irstea developed this artificial mulch, a soil cover of organic material.

According to Irstea, this ground cover has a lifespan of 30 years and prevents the soil from suffocating (which is often the case with perforated tarpaulins). In fact, the air circulates under the ground cover so that snails and earthworms can do their job and maintain the soil in an organic way. The invention will be on the market in 2018.

By: Damien Choppin, Buiness Insider France

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Hans van der Broek, founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
Hans van der Broek, founder Founder and CEO of WhatsOrb, world traveller, entrepreneur and environmental activist. Hans has countless ideas and has set up several businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. He also has an opinion on everything and unlimited thoughts about how to create a better world. He likes hiking and has climbed numerous five-thousanders (mountain summits of at least 5000m or 16,404 feet in elevation)  
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