Researchers from Reconfigurable Robotics Lab at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne have created a soft and flexible robot. Made of elastomers--synthetic polymers with elastic properties--like silicon and rubber, the soft robots are powered by muscle-like actuators. Since the soft robots are cheap to produce and can be manufactured on a large scale, they can be applied on many levels. In Nature's journal Scientific Reports, the scientists reveal potential applications of the soft robots, which range from biomimetic systems and home care to handling fragile objects and patient rehabilitation. "Our robot designs focus largely on safety," said Jamie Paik, the director of the RRL, in a statement.
Increasingly flexible, responsive, sensing, even humanlike, robots are beginning to augment and replace labour in a wide range of industries: a megatrend that is transforming the economics of manufacturing and reshaping the business landscape. Already used to fight wars, remove dangerous land mines, and fill customer orders, robots can also clean, dance, and play the violin; assist with surgery and rehabilitation, bathe elderly patients, measure and deliver medication, and offer companionship; and provide disaster relief, report the news, and drive cars. In short, robots can perform quite a few of the jobs that humans currently do – often more efficiently and at a far lower cost. Because robots can sharply improve productivity and offset regional differences in labour costs and availability, they'll likely have a major impact on the competitiveness of companies and countries alike. For instance, countries with a greater number of robotic programmers and robotic infrastructure could become more attractive to manufacturers than countries with cheap labour.
Over the last few decades, globalization has created great wealth and brought millions out of poverty. Today, a combination of technology, politics, and social pressures seems to be reversing globalization. While the new technology will continue to create wealth, it will favor developed countries. The increasing regionalization of economies and differences in rates of growth will create instability and challenge international security arrangements. The Economist defines globalization as the "global integration of the movement of goods, capital and jobs." The combination of labor cost advantages, efficient freight systems, and trade agreements fueled globalization by providing regional cost advantages for manufacturing. Over the last six decades, it transformed agricultural societies into industrial powerhouses.
Agriculture is considered a prime area of potential growth in the drone industry because of the technology's ability to help survey crops and gather real-time information on farmland. Crop-spraying drones or easy-to-fly devices that are designed to spray pesticides on crops, can also capture high resolution images of whole field for further analysis. Effect of crop-spraying drone usage is massive. Drones can take off and land vertically which means unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sprayer does not need a runway. They are suitable for all kinds of complex terrain, crops and plantations of varying heights.
The global population is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, which means double agricultural production in order to meet food demands. Farm enterprises require new and innovative technologies to face and overcome these challenges. Artificial intelligence robotics is one of these technologies that promises to provide a solution. An increasing number of farmbots are being developed that are capable of complex tasks that have not been possible with the large-scale agricultural machinery in the past. Here's a list of real use cases of robots that will help agriculture changing.