The agriculture industry is harnessing technology to boost efficiency and yields.

Boston-based American Robotics, a company focused on agriculture automation, today launched its Scout drone system. It comes in a small weatherproof station, is self-charging and can conduct daily monitoring missions without the need of manual intervention. And it sends its findings on the health of crops to the farmer.

Dr Ray Asebedo, Professor of Precision Agriculture, Kansas State University, said: “I have been conducting research in robotics for nearly 28 years, and have been working heavily in the area of agricultural robotics for the past six. The rapid expansion of drones in farming has been impressive, but I’ve also been concerned with their inability to address the amount of time and cost required by the grower to use these tools.

“American Robotics’ Scout is the only practical solution that addresses this issue. Farmers need a tool that works for them, not another piece of technology that consumes their day. I believe fully-automated drone operation is a revolutionary approach that solves many of the real-world problems facing growers today, and I am confident Scout will scale to meet the needs of growers around the world.”

Systems like this offer solutions to the herculean challenges facing an industry that needs to rapidly increase production levels to feed a growing global population. And a recent research study by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture showed that drones will play a vital part in achieving this.

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