Harrogate: We don't value the soil to the extent that we should argued Clive Blacker of Precision Decisons Ltd. at a seminar om Precision Farming and the Hands Free Hectare at the Great Yorkshire Show, The trend towards even bigger machines was driven by a number of factors and they caused soil compaction.
He envisaged a future with swarms of small robots and their tractor outside looked dinky and not a threat to anyone. Fortunatey, the tractor is now driving in straighter lines than last year.
How soon commercialisation could occur was uncertain with cost a key factor. However, there could be contracted weed removal services.
Shortage of skilled labour was a constraint, but Brexit would get rid of people who weren't interested in learning or training, The project was intended to appeal to the younger generation.
Insurance was an issue. Who was to blame if the owner changed the programme and the machine crashed? Or supposing it was hacked into and went walkabout?
It needs to be remembered that new technology has to be socially acceptable. Someone was telling me about a robot that would trundle round the countryside zapping weeds with a laser and no doubt announcing 'This vehicle is exterminating'. Would you like to meet that walking your dog?