new sound down at Old MacDonald's farm, where the cacophony of
noise is being replaced by the soft hiss of hydraulics and the
faint hum of electricity.
At the University of Warwick, proudly situated in the West
Midlands, at the heart of the UK, scientists in the Warwick
Manufacturing Group are working on a number of robotic and
automation projects that could change the face of modern
Mushrooms are a delicate crop that has to be reared under
conditions that are less than pleasant for human workers to operate
in. Now a robot mushroom picker can identify mushrooms at their
optimum picking size; needing little space or light to work in,
ideal conditions for growing mushrooms, it can work around the
clock, maximising the use of peak picking opportunities.
Researchers at Warwick have also replaced the remote control
unit of the “Ransomes Spider” grass cutter with an even
more remote unit – a computer that will programme and control
groups of cutters to take the hard work out of mowing large areas
Teaming up with scientists at Warwick HRI, the
University’s Agricultural arm, the Warwick Manufacturing
Group have also developed an inflatable conveyor belt for
agricultural machinery company “Aeropick” –
a compact and easily manoeuvrable system that can be taken into the
field to speed crops to storage, ensuring the very best quality and
maximising crop profits.
The robotic revolution is all about working smarter, not harder
– something that should come as a welcome change to a
profession with more than its fair share of drudgery.
Old MacDonald will still have his farm but it promises to be a
quieter, more efficient farm for the future.
- Robot Mushroom Picker
- Robot Grass Cutter
- Inflatable Conveyor Belt
- Dr Ken Young, Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of
- Dr Rosemary Collier, Warwick HRI
- Tony Botsman, Aeropick
Note: The Aeropick system is covereed by
both British and PCT (global) patent applications.