Robotic Agriculture

Laura McNamaraAudio, Education, Research

UnibotsRobots are the future of agriculture if you ask Simon Blackmore. I’ve already acquainted readers with the forward-thinking agriculturist and inventor, exploring both his role with FutureFarm and Unibots. But, both projects are innovative and impressive enough to merit a closer look. In this interview with Simon, we discuss the creation of his own company: Unibots. The company supports research on small machines conducted around the world and looks at how to commercialize the new technologies for use in agriculture.

The goal, Simon says, is to have a fleet of machines that don’t need people.

“We realized that the ultimate treatment area is one plant,” Simon said. “So this is now what we’re calling phytotechnology or plant scale husbandry. Where these autonomous machines can actually then sense what is happening to this individual plant and then carry out operations on this individual plant because there’s no way that that would be cost effective or viable on a man system but as soon as the person is taking off then it’s very feasible.“

Simon says now is the time to embrace such robotic concepts because the robotic machines can work seamlessly into the current development of precision agriculture technology.

“It’s quite an exciting time to try to think laterally instead doing things the way we’ve always done them in the past,” Simon said. “Then look at the fundamental crop needs and then design a new smart machine to deal with these fundamental crop needs in a different way than what we have done in the past.

You can listen to my interview with Simon here:
Simon Blackmore, Managing Director of Unibots