Can robots revolutionize the wine industry?

Can robots revolutionize the wine industry?

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Amid the growing shortage of farm workers, making smart tractors and farming robots is still an essential option

Written by Kiran N. Kumar

By next spring, a small army of PhytoPatholoBots (PPB) developed by Cornell AgriTech using a new AI and robotics technology called VitisGen will be dispatched to four grape-growing programs across the United States.

These robots will engage in the study of grape varieties that are highly susceptible to powdery and downy mildew diseases and collect data to feed new disease-resistant varieties.

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revealed Lance Cadle-Davidson, co-project manager at Cornell Agric.

Katie Gold, who specializes in using imaging spectroscopy to detect disease, is preparing field trials to design disease detection programs using state-of-the-art spectral imaging, a technology first developed by NASA to study the solar system’s electromagnetic radiation.

Named BlackBird, the scientists have a new RGB phenotype microscopic robot that has increased seedlings 60-fold and is useful for quantifying disease in their lab more precisely than humans in order to “see” plants on a chemical level.

“A lot of the real variability in foliage is captured at wavelengths that we can’t see and that basically corresponds to chemistry and physiology,” Gould said. “Hyperspectral has really shown what it is capable of.”

Once commercialized, PPB robots could help farmers monitor diseases in their vineyards on a larger scale than ever before, paving the way for the next generation of agri-food systems.

In New York State, where the $15 billion industry is struggling, you can now breathe a sigh of relief to see disease and pest pressure in your vineyards drop dramatically with VitisGen.

Cornell AgriTech has released 59 juice, table and wine grapes to date, which have become the backbone of New York’s grape and wine industry, valued at $6.65 billion. Besides grapes, the research institute has more than 280 varieties of fruits and vegetables to its credit.

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automation in agriculture
The increasing number of robotics applications in agriculture has also accelerated automation in the sector, reducing costs and improving yields.

For example, currently 99% of phytosanitary products are wasted because they cover the entire field but with the help of agricultural robots, farmers can spray pesticides on only the plants that need it, thus saving cost and time.

Another example is the intelligent mobile BACCHUS robotic system which is rapidly replacing manual harvesting operations, at every level in Europe. Many collaborative robots are now commonplace for harvesting fruits or grafting and growing insects, while artificial intelligence provides predictive data to improve farms and farms.

Cadle-Davidson demonstrates the combination of innovative technology and artificial intelligence, saying, “Over the course of the VitisGen course, more than 65 participating researchers have worked together with cutting edge technology… What we can achieve now will be very exciting, powerful and potentially revolutionary.”

Read: The shock of the future: automated restaurants and automated kitchens are waiting for you (May 11, 2022)

Already revolutionary, spending on research and development on AI technologies in agriculture is expected to grow from $1 billion in 2020 to $4 billion in 2026.

BI Intelligence Research estimates that global spending on smart and connected agricultural technologies and systems, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, will triple by 2025, to $15.3 billion.

Since the world’s population has already reached 8 billion and is expected to reach about 8.5 billion in 2030 and 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the United Nations, a 60% increase in food productivity is required to feed them by then.

With the increasing shortage of agricultural workers, making smart tractors based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, bots and robots is still a primary choice.

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