Apple Pickers, Bears, Lions, Tigers – Oh My!


Automation is taking over people’s jobs, from factory workers to lawyers. Agriculture has featured a great degree of autonomy for longer than most other trades, not to say its methods are completely made efficient yet. Abundant Robotics created robots that harvest apples and do not require human workers to risk safety when high enough to pick apples. Google Ventures put forward a $10 million investment in the robotics venture.


Traditionally, robots have not been used to pick fruits because of their death grips. Abundant Robotics’ apple picking machine uses vacuum rather than claw to bring in apples without hurting them. A human is not even required to navigate the machine outside of regular maintenance, resulting in safety, cheaper apples, and higher capacity.


Increasing population on earth is not likely to stand still or decline any time soon, resulting in an insatiable need for agricultural products to keep everyone fed. Humans only hinder the agricultural process to a large extent and reduce the potential capacity of an agricultural product as more humans are integrally involved.


Technology has helped agriculture more than bystanders think. Robots are not the only piece of technology that can have a lasting impact on an agricultural product. FarmLead, deemed as an online hub for trading grain, recently raised more than six million dollars in venture funding efforts.


Farmlead works simply by requiring patrons to create an account, then purchase or offer grain for sale by taking pictures and verifying important personal information. FarmLead helps decrease shortages of grain, keeps prices stable, and overall fuels grain markets. Farmers have sometimes had trouble finding good grain sources in the past, but now, sourcing high quality grain is as easy as logging into your cellphone and participating in auctions and by selling products.


Technology has helped agriculture in a spectrum of ways, but not until recently with robotic apple pickers and an eBay for the farming side of the Internet. Both of these companies have focused on innovating technology in agricultural processes that are often technology free with operators not usually fond of personal technology. These two companies, along with many other brave startups, are bound to help the field of agriculture grow even further than it already has.


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