Agricultural Robots Market size is expanding as robotics and automation continue to gain traction in the farming sector through 2027. The continuous demographic surge is propelling the global food demand, creating a need for enhancing agricultural yield in an efficient and sustainable manner. Additional factors supplementing the market growth include rising labor costs and shortage of labor, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Agricultural robots are widely used by farmers to perform a range of functions including soil analysis, seed planting, fruit picking, cloud seeding, weed control, environmental monitoring, and harvesting. These robots are primarily deployed to reduce human effort in agricultural fields. Continuous technological advances will drive the agricultural robots market forward.
Based on type, driverless tractors are expected to witness significant adoption in the forthcoming years. Autonomous tractors are growing in popularity owing to benefits including zero labor effort, improved farming efficiency, and reduced fuel consumption. These tractors can make the right decisions without taking much time, leading to greater efficiency. They are programmed to autonomously scan the soil, monitor field and weather conditions, alter the steering angle, detect obstacles, and apply brakes as and when necessary.
Geographically, the Europe agricultural robots market will witness robust growth during 2021-2027 led by the presence of major manufacturers in the region. Europe is one of the leading adopters and producers of driverless tractors, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other agricultural technologies. To advance large-scale farming operations and improve agricultural production while reducing labor costs at the same time, the regional farm owners are investing in latest agrotechnology innovations including robots and automated systems.
Government funding to boost the adoption of modern agricultural technologies will give agriculture robots industry outlook a boost. In March 2021, the Robs4Crops Project backed by a USD 9.3 million funding by the European Union was initiated in Europe to accelerate the shift towards large-scale adoption of automation and robotics in farming. The project aims to boost productivity, efficiency, and environmental sustainability in European farming.
In North America, a team of engineers from UC Riverside and UC Merced had received a USD 1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for developing a novel agricultural robot. The system can help farm owners better plan the irrigation schedule, allowing them to optimize time, save water, and reduce effort spend by crop specialists on analyzing and determining lead water potential. Constant efforts by respective governments and regulatory bodies will positively impact agricultural robots industry expansion in North America.
ABB Robotics, Blue River Technology (John Deere), Kuka (Midea Group), IBM, Harvest Automation, Yamaha, DeLaval (Tetra Laval), Lely, Agrobot, PrecisionHawk Inc., Georgia Tech Agricultural Robots and BouMatic Robotics are some of the notable names in the agricultural robots market. The industry is constantly witnessing technological innovations and advanced robotic systems.
With sustainability a key priority for the agriculture sector, a large number of greenhouse and nursery robots designed to improve handling, climate control, and other operations are available in the market. For example, Harvest Automation’s small autonomous bots can recognize, pick up, and more plants around a nursery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the deployment of robotics and automation in the agriculture sector. Manufacturing of components witnessed considerable slowdown during the coronavirus crisis to curb the infection spread. Use of certain farming robots may have gone down due to lower demand and production of agro-products like milk. However, with numerous challenges including supply chain disruption, and shortage of labor, farm owners may have also come to realize that automation could be the key to solving some of the problems in case of any future disruptions. Amid widespread disruption caused by the pandemic, agriculture companies applying robotics and automation to farming could record significant benefits.