The first industrial revolution was the invention of the steam engine. With the advent of conveyor belts and electricity, the second industrial revolution arose. After the third revolution, the automation, the fourth industrial revolution takes place with the complete networking of all machines, workers, consumers, and products. In Germany, this is called Industry 4.0. Increasing digitization makes it possible to collect, store, analyze, and communicate large amounts of data. By digitizing farms, a network of different sensors can analyze the nutrient content and the soil texture in real time. This information can be evaluated and the plant distribution can be managed across all networked farms. This leads to the right field being used for the right plant at the right time. Real-time data processing makes it possible to monitor and control the nutrient intake over the entire growth period. This allows the field to specifically ask for water or the right fertilizer for its plants. This saves resources and protects the environment. All the prepared information can give the farmer an exact status about his products and fields via an interface. This horizontal networking within the farm and the vertical networking across different farms can lead to increased efficiency and cheaper products. The use of robots can create a fully automatic farm. For this undertaking, it is necessary to process the complex information of a farm with a self-learning system. At the Westcoast University of Applied Science, for example, a robot is being researched to automatically remove the weeds. The prototype of the robot that moves fully autonomously across the field classifies the plants and destroys the weeds.
Part of the book: Automation in Agriculture