Are Robot Farmers The Answer For Cannabis Production?
by: Darren Roberts, CEO Green Mile Holdings LLC
Whereas vertical farms have brought the farm to the machine in recent years, robot farmers have started to bring the machine to the farm of the future. This turn of events has been years in the making as many growers are looking for new ways to maximize their crop yields without incurring massive overhead associated with labor costs. Robot farmers may be the answer for future cannabis production on paper, but many things need to happen first for that future to come to fruition.
The Future Of Farming Is Filled With Robots?
With cannabis production slowly but surely making its way into the realm of indoor vertical farms, many growers are looking to the bright future of automation and robotics to provide them with the consistent, robust workforce that they need to manage their crops day in and day out. The current wave of robot farmers are equipped with machine learning vision and path-planning algorithms that help it distinguish between thousands of different cannabis crops based on images that it has stored in its memory. These robots can then use the information that they cultivate to more than double their efficiency in comparison to their human counterparts.
Many of these robots are even operating in challenging greenhouse environments that have very high temperature and humidity combinations which is typically not something that you see with electronic components. This is great because instead of growers spending multiple hours every day looking for problems in a greenhouse, robot farmers will use their problem solving ability to increase the farm’s yield quickly.
These robots also provide a highly accurate means of collecting, analyzing and retaining the data that they collect which helps in every stage of cannabis production. Using infrared technology, robot farmers can compare the amount of water in the soil to the amount that has been programmed into the entire system, and water each plant with the perfect amount of water when needed. When weeds crop up, robot farmers can instantly recognize them as such and destroy them without needing to spray chemicals. This type of quick learning and early detection will allow farmers to exponentially limit crop failure which can significantly decrease cannabis production yields.
Why Are Farmers Leaning on Robot Farmers?
Farmers are increasingly relying on robots to solve their labor shortage and meet a growing demand for cannabis across the world. Robot farmers enable labor and time savings, as well as increased crop yields, proving that technological progress is critical to the marijuana cultivation process.
The great thing about robot farmers that growers have noted is that they work 24/7. Robot Farmers don’t need a break, don’t need benefits, and just need a little TLC maintenance from an engineer every once in a while to keep working without any stoppage. They learn at a rapid pace well beyond what humans are capable of learning at and may also be able to configure new cannabis strains in the future that can help the industry progress at a rapid rate.
As cannabis growers are continuously put in the position where they must increase their productivity and growth to meet the demands of consumers, robot farmers seem to be a viable solutions to a tumultuous industry. How will the inclusion of an automated robot farmer workforce in cannabis companies change the industry at large? That remains to be seen, but the one certainty that will always be at the forefront of businesses is that no matter how automated our workforce becomes, it should never fully replace the intuitive nature of human employees.
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