Drones and self-propelled robots: agricultural machines "on the move"
Autonomous mechanical means are performing increasingly complex functions in agriculture, moving and intervening on crops independently. Experimental prototypes and technologies already in production on show these days at the Bari exhibition
Drones, robots, highly automated machines, artificial intelligence. This is the new frontier of agriculture being presented at Agrilevante, the exhibition specialising in Mediterranean crop technologies being held at the Bari exhibition centre.
The industry in this sector is working closely with universities and research centres to develop, and then put into production, new-generation mechanical means destined to replace traditional ones. Robotics for agriculture are more sophisticated than those developed for industrial systems - explain the experts of FederUnacoma, the federation of manufacturers that iwas organising the show - because they operate in an environment that is not protected and predictable like a factory, but that changes continuously in relation to weather conditions, wind, humidity, the variables linked to the seasons and light at different times of day, as well as the way plants, leaves and fruit look in the various vegetative phases. Agricultural robots must therefore have an extreme sensitivity, in every way similar to that of an expert farmer. Agrilevante was dedicating a section of the exhibition, in the New Pavilion, to these sophisticated technologies, as well as an open-air area where the agricultural machines "of the future", such as drones for vineyard treatments, or robots for monitoring the health of orchards, it was possible to see in action.
Digital agriculture, moreover, was also a protagonist in the programme of conferences of the event: the meeting on "The advantages of agriculture 4.0 for companies and end consumers: from the rationalisation of resources to ent-to-end traceability", organised by Nazione Futura, the conference on "Agriculture 5.0 saves climate and harvests", promoted by Coldiretti Puglia; and the meeting on "Drones, robotics and artificial intelligence in agriculture", promoted by the University of Basilicata and FederUnacoma, designed to inform young people as well, who are approaching agriculture and who in the coming years will have to manage technologies, such as digital ones, that are increasingly challenging.