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Robots to revolutionize farming, ease labor woes
Associated Press ^ | Jul 14, 2013 10:42 AM EDT | Gosia Wozniacka and Terence Chea

Posted on 07/14/2013 8:33:22 AM PDT by Olog-hai

On a windy morning in California’s Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, refrigerator-sized contraption over rows of budding iceberg lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software on a laptop to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds.

Hired by a Salinas-based agricultural produce company, the engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can “thin” a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand.

The thinner is part of a new generation of machines that target the last frontier of agricultural mechanization—fruits and vegetables destined for the fresh market, not processing, which have thus far resisted mechanization because they’re sensitive to bruising.

Researchers are now designing robots for these most delicate crops by integrating advanced sensors, powerful computing, electronics, computer vision, robotic hardware and algorithms, as well as networking and high precision GPS localization technologies. Most ag robots won’t be commercially available for at least a few years. …

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat; Food; Science
KEYWORDS: agribusiness; lettucebot; migrantworkers; robotfarming

1 posted on 07/14/2013 8:33:22 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

Will this make Mexicans obsolete?


2 posted on 07/14/2013 8:34:51 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Democrats: Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote.)
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To: Olog-hai

Automation makes farming cheaper and more efficient but have no fear, somethings will need a human hand for many years to come.


3 posted on 07/14/2013 8:36:17 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Cowboy Bob

We will need Mexican robots to do the work American robots won’t do.


4 posted on 07/14/2013 8:37:03 AM PDT by Lets Roll NOW (A baby isn't a punishment, Obama is)
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To: Olog-hai

great....more jobs done away with.....more people with nothing to do...nothing but collect welfare/unemployment/disability.....


5 posted on 07/14/2013 8:37:13 AM PDT by cherry
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To: Cowboy Bob

Will it make immigration obsolete or can we now be more judicious who we allow into the country?


6 posted on 07/14/2013 8:39:00 AM PDT by 353FMG ( I do not say whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: cherry

What happens to the illegals when they become legal and these robots take over? How will these low skill workers make a living when they are no olonger needed?


7 posted on 07/14/2013 8:41:02 AM PDT by jimpick
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To: cherry
What? You work at a buggy whip factory? All those people lost their jobs, too.

/johnny

8 posted on 07/14/2013 8:41:03 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Olog-hai

Still going to make ‘the economic case’ for amnesty, Republicans?


9 posted on 07/14/2013 8:42:01 AM PDT by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: cherry
If your job can be done better/faster/cheaper by someone else or something else then it isn't a job.

It's welfare.

10 posted on 07/14/2013 8:42:56 AM PDT by agere_contra (I once saw a movie where only the police and military had guns. It was called 'Schindler's List'.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

Will need robot mechanics.

Robots will have chrome rims, and ride close to the ground.


11 posted on 07/14/2013 8:43:03 AM PDT by Scrambler Bob ( Concerning bo -- that refers to the president. If I capitalize it, I mean the dog.)
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To: Olog-hai

This is something that agribusiness has resisted doing for a long time because Mexican slave labor at low wages was too enticing to resist.

Automating and robotizing agriculture will eliminate those Mexican laborer’s jobs. Employers will take the hit to gear up, but once done they will have more production and less labor related problems. robots never get sick, ask for raises, join unions, or have behavioral issues.


12 posted on 07/14/2013 8:44:44 AM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: Olog-hai

This means that millions of soon to be welcomed illegals won’t even be needed for marginal jobs. But the RINOS have as their goal to drive down the wages of the middle class and working poor (because these schmucks don’t matter) and the Dems see a growing underclass that will vote for benefits.


13 posted on 07/14/2013 8:45:02 AM PDT by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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To: Lets Roll NOW

“We will need Mexican robots to do the work American robots won’t do.”

ROFWL

best line of the thread

a can’t wait for the day the WSJ starts editorializng that we are not importing enough Mexican robots


14 posted on 07/14/2013 8:47:53 AM PDT by Wuli
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To: agere_contra

Is that so?

I’d much rather have my eggs from my own chickens that I take care of myself than from an “egg factory”, TYVM.

Used to be that having one’s own farm was a mark of total independence, apart from paying whatever tax was necessary to defend the country from hostile alien powers. Now a higher dependence upon machines is good? Be serfs of the new manor and have to slave to repair and service the non-titular lord’s bots, in anticipation of the next farm bill out of the High Congress?


15 posted on 07/14/2013 8:49:44 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: cripplecreek
Automation makes farming cheaper and more efficient but have no fear, somethings will need a human hand for many years to come.

It does no good to have robots do the farming, if there is no land upon which to farm.

16 posted on 07/14/2013 8:54:06 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: Olog-hai

Um, that’s nice.

I was talking about jobs. But feel free to bang on about your unrelated subject until the thread dies.


17 posted on 07/14/2013 8:54:35 AM PDT by agere_contra (I once saw a movie where only the police and military had guns. It was called 'Schindler's List'.)
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To: agere_contra

The thread isn’t about jobs, though.

But lots of jobs can be automated. What happens when there are no other jobs to replace them and the people put out of work can’t afford to buy the products? Can they all be retrained as bot maintenance? Where are the replacement jobs? Working people don’t want to be forced on to welfare.


18 posted on 07/14/2013 8:57:38 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

So then what will we do with the 30 million new workers? Oh not worry we will just give them welfare.


19 posted on 07/14/2013 9:00:00 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: cherry

Shades of Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano. Its why we need a dynamic economy that can take the guys who made buggy whips and move them into higher tech jobs. Its chaotic and disruptive but necessay for wealth generation. And Socialism stops it and we end up with what you said. A small number of makers supporting a huge number of takers.


20 posted on 07/14/2013 9:01:05 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Alex Murphy
It does no good to have robots do the farming, if there is no land upon which to farm.

Out here in rural country we have plenty of farmland.
21 posted on 07/14/2013 9:08:38 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: jimpick
"What happens to the illegals when they become legal and these robots take over? How will these low skill workers make a living when they are no longer needed?"

They will be eligible to free career retraining on your nickel...

22 posted on 07/14/2013 9:11:54 AM PDT by Average Al
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To: Olog-hai

Will the robots urinate and defecate on our food like the Mexicans do?


23 posted on 07/14/2013 9:14:41 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: Olog-hai
Can they all be retrained as bot maintenance?

I think you would be surprised at how many will and contrary to popular belief, they won't need college educations to do it.

I'm a high school dropout and I learned to program, operate, and maintain painting robots while on the job. Its how I became the foreman on that job.
24 posted on 07/14/2013 9:15:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

Robot programming and maintenance will be automated too.

Robots will be so modular, mass produced, and cheap, that repairing one of them would be as silly as repairing a coffee maker.


25 posted on 07/14/2013 9:20:39 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: cherry
great....more jobs done away with.....more people with nothing to do...nothing but collect welfare/unemployment/disability....

The problem is not the mechanization, it's the easy availability of those last three.

26 posted on 07/14/2013 9:21:21 AM PDT by BfloGuy (The imposition of a duty on the importation of a commodity burdens the consumers. --Ludwig Von Mises)
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To: Cowboy Bob
Will this make Mexicans obsolete?

No problem, though. The Democrats will get 20 votes for each robot purchased by "Big Ag".

27 posted on 07/14/2013 9:24:23 AM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: Olog-hai
Well, John McCain said Americans wouldn't pick lettuce for $50.00 an hour. I guess he was right. Americans will make a machine that will do it. I hope people will call McCain's office and tell him about this.
Many people who want to secure the border have been saying for years, cheap illegal immigrant labor has stifled farm automation. I wonder if this would have happened if states, like Arizona and Georgia had not passed their illegal immigration laws.
28 posted on 07/14/2013 9:35:27 AM PDT by Razz Barry (Round'em up, send'em home.)
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To: cherry
"Stoop Labor" is something very few people will do. There isn't much that's harder on your body. I drove through the Pajaro Valley on the way to Carmel last weekend and am always amazed and saddened watching people perform these jobs. It makes you very appreciative of the food on your table. Using machines to perform these literally backbreaking jobs is long overdue.


29 posted on 07/14/2013 9:35:47 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Born to Conserve

They might leak oil onto the food.


30 posted on 07/14/2013 9:55:18 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Razz Barry

I suspect he isn’t even right about that. I also suspect that he was talking only from his own perspective.


31 posted on 07/14/2013 9:56:17 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Cowboy Bob

Will this make Mexicans obsolete?

Nah, the state can always use more welfare leeches and democrap lever pullers...


32 posted on 07/14/2013 10:04:54 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: Olog-hai

They might leak oil onto the food.

They will use fish oil to lubricate the robots cause fish oil is good for......

Aw dammit another gubermint study came out and says fish oil is bad for you....

They should just use motor oil i guess.....


33 posted on 07/14/2013 10:06:37 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: jimpick
Re:What happens to the illegals when they become legal and these robots take over? How will these low skill workers make a living when they are no olonger needed?

They can get jibs cleaning up after Laura Bush and Cindy McCain. RINO queens can't be making their own beds, after all.

34 posted on 07/14/2013 10:07:19 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Olog-hai

The farmers will go for these machines. Migrant farm workers are a tremendous risk.


35 posted on 07/14/2013 10:27:59 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Do not feel sorry.

The UFW under Cesar Chavez lobbied Jerry Brown back in the 70s to prevent mechanization from coming to the fields...especially in Watsonville.

Much of what’s being developed now was already in development in the 70s, funded by the state. That funding was shut down.

The UFW wanted numbers. They did not care about conditions. More workers, more misery, more power for them. Luis Alejo would not be in Sacramento without it.

The toiling Indigeanos you see from hwy 1 are unnecessary. Strawberry harvesting is mechanized in Washington state, for example.

It was stopped in California by the illegal alien dominated unions.

Watsonville was 10 % Mexican in 1950. It is now about 80%. Do you think anyone would have cared if the displaced workers were white Okies?

No. They would tell them tuff Luk, get a job over the hill.


36 posted on 07/14/2013 10:37:50 AM PDT by Regulator
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To: cripplecreek

Especially if the bees continue to disappear.


37 posted on 07/14/2013 11:39:39 AM PDT by tbw2
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To: GraceG

When I was on my way out of the shop, new presses that used vegetable oil as hydrualic fluid were on their way in.


38 posted on 07/14/2013 11:59:03 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Olog-hai

Robots doing the work illegals don’t want to do....


39 posted on 07/14/2013 1:32:45 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Olog-hai

It was funny when Americans showed up at rallies with lettuce wanting their fifty bucks.


40 posted on 07/15/2013 8:54:03 AM PDT by Razz Barry (Round'em up, send'em home.)
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