Robots of the Future: Robot Farms

19/10/2015
It sounds like something you’re likely to find in a Futurama re-run. We’ve talked before about robots taking over our human job roles. We’ve discussed the idea of self aware robots having rights. We’ve even applauded the leaps and bounds engineers across the world and scientists alike have taken in producing life saving and life aiding robots. Is a robot farm taking it a step too far, though?

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Farming and science have never gotten along. They’re like two unwilling friends squabbling over a football in the playground; one of them believes in the thrill of the sport, working hard to perfect their skill, the other engages in the mechanics of the sport using maths and probabilities to get the best goal. With this in mind, we can’t imagine farmers being all too keen with the idea of robots taking over their jobs but that’s exactly what could end up happening in Japan.

Who’s Building a Robot Farm?

In August of this year, Spread Co. a Japanese Kyoto based vegetable factory, announced they would begin construction of (an almost) completely robot run lettuce farm in 2016.

The company, who have 7 years of experience growing the vegetable in factories, claim this robot run farm will be able to produce 30,000 heads of juicy lettuce per day! They’re hoping that, with manual labour being carried out by robots and the high level of production, they’ll be able to drop the price of lettuce for their customers without losing the great taste of the vegetable, The Wall Street Journal heard.

How Can Robots Run A Factory/Farm?

As with any kind of farming, there are several stages of growing lettuce. Six, to be exact and Spread Co. have set out the plans of their farming factory for those six stages.

1. Seeding
2. Germination
3. Raising the Seedlings
4. Transporting from small to large beds
5. Raising the vegetables
6. Harvesting

Anybody else suddenly thought of robot nannies? Now that’s a scary thought.

The (almost) completely robot run facility allows stacker cranes to transport the lettuce while robots handle the planting and general care of the vegetable. Such precise engineering feats obviously require very accurate, pressure sensitive mechanisms and springs in order to allow fluid movement; the last thing the creators of this robot farm will want is a jittery robot.

Not only will the robots, with their smooth, fluid movements, care for the upraising of the vegetable, they will also have complete control over various conditions in the factory:

• Temperature
• Humidity
• Carbon Dioxide Level
• Sterilization of Water
• Light Hours

What Does This Mean For Us?

There has always been two major concerns when it comes to robot run jobs. The decline in available jobs for humans, and the rise of the robot. The truth is that, even with this supposedly completely robot run farm, humans are still needed to ensure its visability. At the moment, Spread Co. say they need the human eye to tell if the plant has germinated.

For the foreseeable future, at least, we can honestly say we’re safe from losing our jobs. A human presence will always be needed to ensure robots run smoothly and efficiently, that their cogs and wheels keep spinning and their gas springs and compound springs remain in tip top form.

Though we aren’t helping to build robots by the dozen (or are we?) we do provide you with fantastic quality springs for all job types. For more information on what springs we have for you, contact us today on 0208 663 1800. Alternatively, if you’d like to keep up to date on the world of springs, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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