Robotics

The future of the agricultural robotics industry

22nd September 2021
Kiera Sowery

IDTechEx has released 'Agricultural Robotics Market 2022-2032', a market research report exploring the technical and market factors that are shaping the emerging industry around agricultural robotics. The agricultural robotics industry has grown quickly in recent years, spurred on by advances in robotics technology and AI, and may be set to help alleviate some of the labour issues that are currently threatening global agriculture.

Agricultural robotics, as covered in the new IDTechEx report, can be used to automate a range of agricultural tasks, including weeding, seeding, and harvesting of fresh fruit. Some applications of agricultural robotics, including robotic milking, are already developed industries attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue, whereas others, such as fully autonomous tractors, are still emerging and may only reach full commercialisation by the end of the decade.

IDTechEx's latest report, 'Agricultural Robotics Market 2022-2032', examines the key application areas within the industry. These include robotic weeding, robotic seeding, autonomous tractors, autonomous implement carriers and platform robots, robotic fresh fruit and vegetable harvesting, agricultural drones, and robotic milking. The report highlights companies within each application area working to commercialise products, including analysis of technology readiness and comparisons between products.

In addition to analysing the key application areas within agricultural robots, IDTechEx also discusses the emerging technologies that are underpinning the growth of the agricultural robotics industry. These include positioning technologies such as RTK-GPS and LiDAR, AI, imaging technologies such as hyperspectral imaging, soft gripper, and end effector technology, and precision spraying technologies.

The report also includes a discussion of business models within the agricultural robotics industry, such as the advantages and challenges around pursuing a robotics-as-a-service business model, as well as some of the market challenges facing the industry, such as regulations, issues around data ownership, and establishing trust with farmers.

Ten-year market forecasts are provided for the future of the agricultural robotics industry, including breakdowns by region and by application area. Based on IDTechEx's technical and industry analysis, the agricultural robotics market size is forecast to reach $6.7bn by 2032.

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