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From Drones to Robots… Seize the Opportunity of ‘Smart Agriculture’


"From Drones to Robots... Seize the Opportunity of 'Smart Agriculture'“


“Drones Reduce Growth Diagnosis Time… Harvest Prediction and Fertilizer Prescription Too. Daedong Demonstrates Field-Proven Autonomous Transport Robots for Crops. AI Harvesting Robots, Autonomous Pre-planting, Pest Control, and Weeding Robots Also Unveiled.“

“[Edaily Reporter Ham Ji-hyun] From drones to robots, the agricultural machinery industry is rapidly realizing various technologies to achieve a more advanced level of ‘smart agriculture.’“

According to industry sources on the 23rd, the global market size of agricultural drones is expected to grow from $752 million (approximately 1.1 trillion won) in 2020 to $1.731 billion (approximately 2.32 trillion won) by 2025. This represents an annual growth rate of over 18%, indicating promising growth potential. The focus lies not only on functions like pesticide spraying but also on the collection and utilization of various data to enhance productivity.

One of Japan’s leading agricultural machinery companies, Kubota, has entered the field of fruit harvesting drones for field cultivation by investing in the Israeli startup, Tevel Aerobotics Technologies. Japan’s agricultural environment shares a commonality with South Korea in rapidly aging demographics.

In South Korea, Daedong (Stock code: 000490) provides crop growth diagnosis services to farmers using drones. While it takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour for a person to visually inspect a field of approximately 4000 square meters (around 1200 pyeong), utilizing drones can accomplish this task in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds. From sowing to harvesting, regular data collection using drones allows for the prediction of pests, diseases, and harvest yields, as well as the prescription of fertilizers, contributing to maximizing productivity.

Moreover, Daedong is incorporating robot technology into its operations. Earlier this year, Daedong established the “Daedong-KIRO Robotics Center” in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence. They plan to develop autonomous following robots for crop transportation, electric robot management systems applicable throughout the crop cycle for cultivation, planting, and harvesting, as well as indoor delivery robots by 2025. Recently, they have also developed and successfully field-tested robots capable of autonomously following workers and transporting cargo to designated locations without manual control.

In addition, SNSolutions has introduced an AI harvesting robot that detects crops and harvests them autonomously, as well as a wheeled autonomous weeding robot capable of operating on slopes of up to 45 degrees without overturning. AgeRobotics has showcased an agricultural pest control robot equipped with autonomous driving technology. Not only agricultural machinery companies but also the Rural Development Administration have developed weeding robots that autonomously navigate predetermined paths within orchards to remove weeds.

Industry insiders expect that tasks requiring significant time and effort when done manually can be significantly enhanced in efficiency by the adoption of drones and robots. They also plan to further refine and disseminate such technologies to the field in the future.

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