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Five reasons why robots help with picking in the agriculture industry

Written by

Neil Martin

Neil Martin

Companies that operate in the agriculture sector know that one of their main tasks is picking. Indeed, whether it’s picking and stacking crates full of produce in a warehouse, or picking crops from the field, every year there are millions of human hours spent completing this often monotonous and time consuming task. 

In the trade, picking and putting down things is known as pick and place, and robots are increasingly brought into to complete jobs like this, especially in the packing house and warehouse environments. Picking crops from a field, or in a greenhouse for example, used to be a job too far for robots. If you think of a human hand, it is evolved to be a superb device for picking things up, and it is only recently that robot ‘end-of-arm’ tools have been developed that cope with the dexterity needed to pick soft and hard crops. 

So here’s five reasons why robots help with picking in the agriculture industry:

  • robots are fast. One of the main benefits of using robots for pick and place duties is that they are very fast. Consider that a robot can pick and place around 200 units per minute. And that speed means the job gets completed quickly and that means, at the end of the day, increased productivity and profitability;

  • robots are consistent. Not only are they fast, but they are super consistent. There’s no point picking around 200 units if it then sprays them all around the room. The accuracy percentage of most of these robots is close to 100%. Set-up properly, they don't make mistakes; 

  • robots are flexible. Pick and place might sound a comparatively easy task, but if you think of all the variations that a robot has to face, then they have to be flexible. They have to be able to cope with a huge amount of different scenarios and options, and be fast and efficient whilst doing so; 

  • robots reduce costs. Staff costs can be reduced when robots are used. This mainly because robot labour is consistent. Robots do not require holidays, flexi-hours, or sick leave. Nor can they just leave, a problem for many warehouses with staff who do not see their job as a permanent position;

  • robots help out. Increasingly, non-skilled and skilled labour is in short supply, made worse by Brexit and Covid-19, and robots are ready to fill the gaps, right now.Need to find out more? Check this out. 

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