These robots follow you to learn where to go

Fruit and nut growers are increasingly incorporating computer vision into their work.For example, Tastry uses artificial intelligence to find Mask the smoky taste In vineyards contaminated by wildfires, and Interdisciplinary team Biologists and artificial intelligence researchers working with the United States Department of Agriculture are looking for ways to protect vineyards from fungi that can damage crops.

Walt Duflock helps run a 10,000-acre farm in Monterey County, California, where cattle, table grapes and other crops are grown. He is also the vice president of innovation for the Western Growers Association, a farmers’ federation that represents half of the fruit, vegetable, and nut growing business in the United States.

Duflock met the founder of Burro for the first time when he was the mentor of Thrive Agricultural Entrepreneurship Accelerator. He believes that automation is necessary to solve the shortage of agricultural labor, especially in harvesting. Over time, he believes that robots like Burro can reduce the labor force on the farm by 20%.

This is especially important as the number of potential farm workers decreases. According to the census, the rural population is declining and farm workers are aging. U.S. Community Survey Data It shows that the average farm worker in 2019 was 39.5, higher than the 35 in 2006, and the average foreign farm worker was close to 42, because there are fewer young immigrants looking for work in the agricultural field.this U.S. Department of Labor It is said that about two-thirds of workers who grow fruits, vegetables or nuts in the United States were born in another country.

The worker problem is particularly serious in fruit and nut farms, where the Ministry of Agriculture estimates that labor consumes 30% of total income-three times the average of 10% for all farms.

“Burro gives them a chance to redistribute what [resources] They do have, because there is a big gap between the labor we need and the labor we provide for the agricultural industry,” Duflock said.

Piaggio, the maker of Vespa scooters, also sees the future of robots that can follow people. A few weeks before Amazon launched Astro, Piaggio Fast Forward introduced GitaMini, a robot that can carry 20 pounds and follow you for 20 miles outdoors. Gita It means short trip in Italian, and small robots are always in development Since 2015Piaggio is advertising that GitaMini can carry a week’s worth of groceries for people living in apartments or condominiums.

In addition to consumer applications, Piaggio also explored potential commercial use cases for follow robots. In Smood, a food delivery company in Switzerland, employees who complete orders for customers use Gita robots to walk in the store aisles and then deliver them to the roadside. Gita robots are also used to shop in convenience stores and gift shops, and deliver deliveries to passengers waiting to board at about a dozen airports.

Piaggio Fast Forward CEO Greg Lynn hopes that Mini will open up more indoor uses for companies that want to support roadside pickup and automated operations but don’t want to feel like a warehouse. “The whole world has become a warehouse in an interesting way,” he said. “It’s like everyone looking at a physical store and saying,’How do I perform digital fulfillment?'”

Outdoors, Lynn expects follower robots equipped with heavy-duty tires to operate in farms and other semi-structured industrial environments. Earlier this year, the company tested Gita robots on a construction site in Colorado. These robots can work as a team and follow behind humans or other robots. In theory, dozens or hundreds of rover vehicles can follow each other in formation practice, similar to a fleet of self-driving trucks moving as a train or convoy. Rows of Gita robots deliver groceries and other items to residents of New Haven, a planned community in Ontario, California.But queuing may cause the following problems How many robot assistants are too many Before they become daunting or unhealthy to reflect work power dynamics.

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