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Agricultural Robotics: The Future of Robotic Agriculture

by   Tom Duckett, et al.

Agri-Food is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. It supports a food chain that generates over 108bn p.a., with 3.9m employees in a truly international industry and exports 20bn of UK manufactured goods. However, the global food chain is under pressure from population growth, climate change, political pressures affecting migration, population drift from rural to urban regions and the demographics of an aging global population. These challenges are recognised in the UK Industrial Strategy white paper and backed by significant investment via a Wave 2 Industrial Challenge Fund Investment ("Transforming Food Production: from Farm to Fork"). Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) and associated digital technologies are now seen as enablers of this critical food chain transformation. To meet these challenges, this white paper reviews the state of the art in the application of RAS in Agri-Food production and explores research and innovation needs to ensure these technologies reach their full potential and deliver the necessary impacts in the Agri-Food sector.


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