Robotics and Automation in Agriculture: Present and Future Applications

Mohd Saiful Azimi Mahmud, Mohamad Shukri Zainal Abidin, Abioye Abiodun Emmanuel, Hameedah Sahib Hasan

Abstract

Agriculture is the backbone of society as it mainly functions to provide food, feed and fiber on which all human depends to live. Precision agriculture is implemented with a goal to apply sufficient treatments at the right place in the right time with the purpose to provide low-input, high efficiency and sustainable agricultural production. In precision agriculture, automation and robotics have become one of the main frameworks which focusing on minimizing environmental impact and simultaneously maximizing agricultural produce. The application of automation and robotics in precision agriculture is essentially implemented for precise farm management by using modern technologies. In the past decades, a significant amount of research has focused on the applications of mobile robot for agricultural operations such as planting, inspection, spraying and harvesting. This paper reviews the recent applications of automation and robotics in agriculture in the past five years. In this paper, the recent implementations are divided into four categories which indicates different operations executed for planting management starting from a seed until the product is ready to be harvested. Towards the end of this paper, several challenges and suggestions are described to indicate the opportunities and improvements that can be made in designing an efficient autonomous and robotics system for agricultural applications. Based on the conducted review, different operations have different challenges thus require diverse solutions to solve the specific operational problem. Therefore, the development process of an efficient autonomous agricultural robotic system must consider all possibilities and challenges in different types of agricultural operation to minimize system errors during future implementation. In addition, the development cost needs to be fully considered to ensure that the farmers will be able to invest their capital as a consumer. Therefore, it will become highly possible for the autonomous agricultural robotic system to be widely implemented throughout the world in the future.

Keywords

Agriculture; Applications; Automation; Food security; Robotics.

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