The population of the Earth constantly grows. It puts increasing pressure on the food industry, and food security is a global threat. Moreover, the requirements for products’ quality and availability expand.
In these conditions, robotics and automation, including EOSDA solutions, come to the aid of humans. They allow you to solve all tasks more efficiently and quickly, taking on a significant part of the work. Therefore, these technologies take place in agriculture and the food industry more and more actively.
What Is Robotics?
Robotics results from scientific, technical, and technological advances in robots, automated equipment for solving various problems. They can work completely autonomously, independently, or be operated by people. Today, there are several types of robots:
The robotics application fields gradually expand. So, they are already used for fighting natural disasters and in search and rescue operations in the medical area, such as surgeon’s assistants, in various production types, including agriculture.
What Is Automation?
Automation refers to technological applications capable of performing operations with minimal human intervention. There are several types of automation:
- artificial intelligence (AI).
More and more such applications appear every year, including those intended for agriculture. They are used to automate routine operations and analyze and predict processes. Moreover, as AI and machine learning advance, automated applications will perform more complex tasks.
Robotics and Automation Use Cases in the Food Industry
Automation and robotics are introduced in the food industry relatively slowly. But they are already used at almost all stages, such as farm production and supply to the final consumer. Let’s consider the principal directions.
Precision farming is increasingly used in modern agriculture, which implies introducing such technological solutions as drones and autonomous vehicles. Farmers use them for harvesting and monitoring crops, soil, and environmental analysis. However, science develops. Gradually, robots have become the primary trend, significantly impacting agricultural processes.
Automation and robotization can solve the problem of the growing demand for food and the increasing requirements for their quality. In particular, specialized applications are involved in primary and even secondary food processing — they sort and mix them. In this case, an advantage of robots is that they can perform ultra-precise operations.
Robots have long been used in organizing supplies, but they will soon completely take over the food packaging process. It is especially relevant in the face of a low-skilled and unskilled labor shortage in the food industry. People will perform more critical tasks instead of such routine work.
In cooking, the robots’ introduction is relatively slow because it is believed that only a person can cope with such a difficult task. However, there are directions here that can be automated. Robotics can cook simple meals: for example, there is already a model for making hamburgers. Moreover, a robot prepares them with high quality and more significant volume than a person can. With the advancement of technology and AI, the culinary skills of robots will become more complex.
Home delivery has become more popular, and the lockdown has only increased the demand for courier services. At the same time, people increasingly want to receive restaurant-quality food, so the idea of fast and high-class delivery using robotics like drones becomes more and more natural.
The Future Of Automation And Robotics
Today’s trends suggest that the food industry will increasingly use robotics and automation every year. It is facilitated by a significant reduction in the cost of technology (more than 75 percent compared to 2010) and the emergence of many applications and specialists in this field worldwide. If earlier only large companies could afford to invest in such technologies, now even small enterprises can do it. At the same time, startups regularly appear on the market, offering innovations for the food industry.
Nowadays, most food companies do not use robotics and automation yet. But their share in the industry has increased by about 71 percent over the past five years. And everything suggests that the trend will continue.
Introducing robotics and automation in the food industry solves many problems. They optimize agricultural production, free people from low-skilled work, and facilitate supply. Therefore, as technology develops and becomes cheaper, the demand for innovations in the food industry will inevitably grow.