Swarm Bots Could Shift Ag History

Picture a swarm of tiny robots moving down the rows of a cotton field, mechanical spider arms plucking multiple bolls per second and depositing fiber into holding containers. Ginning begins immediately within the containers as the bots move on to more plants. Scoffers beware: Agriculture is on the cusp of historical change.

Robotic harvest is knocking on the door of traditional row crop production and cotton growers may bring in the first fruits. A massive technological push steered by Cotton Incorporated aims to deliver automated harvest via fleets of swarm robots to U.S. fields within 10 to 15 years. Coordinated field research is underway in multiple states and the results may benefit the entire spectrum of U.S. agriculture.

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