Cotton-Picking Robots?

Dr. Ed Barnes of Cotton Incorporated is at it again.

A recent article posted on GrowingGeorgia.com describes the preliminary work that Barnes – Cotton Inc.’s senior director of Agricultural and Environmental Research – is conducting to test the viability of using small autonomous robots to harvest cotton. And not just one robot, but rather a swarm of robots working together to pick cotton in a timely, efficient manner.

As Barnes says in the article, “We’re looking at an average bot cost of $4000 to $5000. So, for a fraction of the average cost of one of today’s six-row pickers, a grower could invest in an army of bots and get the job done in a fraction of the time.”

And, no fuel will be needed. The robots under development will be solar powered.

Barnes estimates the new technology could be field-ready within the next 10 years.

You can read the entire article here. It’s fascinating.

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