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Robots in the field: farms embracing autonomous technology


A farming robot named "Tom" in a field in East Meon, southern England. The Small Robot Company is developing lightweight autonomous machines that can carry out precision “seeding, feeding and weeding” in the hope of transforming food production. — AP

A farming robot named "Tom" in a field in East Meon, southern England. The Small Robot Company is developing lightweight autonomous machines that can carry out precision “seeding, feeding and weeding” in the hope of transforming food production. — AP

EAST MEON, England: Faced with seesawing commodity prices and the pressure to be more efficient and environmentally friendly, farmer Jamie Butler is trying out a new worker on his 450-acre farm in England’s Hampshire countryside. 

Methodically inspecting Butler’s winter wheat crop for weeds and pests, the labourer doesn’t complain or even break a sweat. That’s because it’s a four-wheel robot dubbed “Tom” that uses GPS, artificial intelligence and smartphone technology to digitally map the field. 

   

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