Current and Future Autonomous Technologies in Agriculture​

January 2022 | 24 min., 26 sec.
by Glen C. Rains
University of Georgia


​​Agricultural production is undergoing a revolution of technology and data-driven precision management based on advancements in sensing, computing power, motor efficiencies, and battery density. Sensors are smaller, cheaper, and higher resolution than ever; computing power has doubled every 2 years for decades and should continue that trend for the next few years; and battery energy density is increasing yearly. These advancements have reached a level such that artificial intelligence is helping to create data-driven solutions to improve precision management and to help design and develop agricultural field robotics and automation for planting, pest management, and harvest operations. This presentation provides background information on these trends and describes current developments in robotics and automation and how the future may lead to scalable, multitactical solutions in cotton and other crops.

About the Presenter

Glen RainsGlen Rains received a BS in agricultural engineering from the University of Georgia in 1987 and an MS and a PhD in agricultural engineering from Virginia Tech in 1989 and 1992, respectively. After graduating, he w​orked in automobile safety, focusing on driver and passenger airbag testing and evaluation for 6 years in Washington, DC, and Marysville, Ohio. In 1998, Rains joined the faculty of the University of Georgia, Tifton Campus, working in precision agriculture and farm safety. He currently works in programs on agricultural and forestry sensors, intelligent and configurable robotic ground vehicles, and UAV scouting. He is a professor, professional engineer, and certified aerial analyst with the National Aerial Applicators Association and co-director of the Agrability in Georgia project, which provides assistance to farmers with disabilities.​​

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