Future of agricultural robotics


IDTechEx has recently released “Agricultural Robotics Market 2022-2032”, a market research report exploring the technical and market factors that are shaping the emerging industry around agricultural robotics.

This report is focused on key technologies (e.g., AI, sensors, GPS, imaging systems, etc.) and applications (weeding, harvesting, monitoring, etc.). It analyses recent challenges in the agriculture industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how robotics and technology developments will change the business of agriculture, enabling ultra-precision farming, helping to mitigate the challenges, and maintaining sustainable developments.

The report develops a detailed roadmap of how these challenges have influenced the agriculture industry, what technologies have been widely applied as of today, what are the typical application areas of agricultural robots, and what makes different application areas have various maturity and technology readiness levels (TRL).

In particular, this report provides:

  • Agricultural robots’ categorization: Based on the technology and applications, the report categorizes agricultural robots into different types. For each type, a detailed chart was made to evaluate the technical difficulty and application value, thereby deciding its stage of development/commercialization.
  • Application assessment: Detailed application assessment covering 8 major application areas including weeding and pest control, robotic seeding, fully autonomous tractors, autonomous implement carriers, and platform robots, harvesting robots, drones, milking robots, and others. For each sector, the report outlines its current stage of development, technology progression, drivers and challenges (both technical and regulatory), and key products from active players in the market. The market size of each application is projected in the forecast chapter.
  • Technology assessment: Detailed technology assessment covering different products ranging from prototypes at the proof-of-concept phase to robots on a commercially available level. The report analyses the key technologies and components including sensors (e.g., cameras, LiDAR, Radar, etc.), imaging systems (e.g., hyperspectral imaging), end-effectors, AI, precision spraying, and many others. The technology assessment gives a holistic view of what components are more commonly used in different robots, how different components synergize to achieve the functionality, and the technical barriers when they work together.
  • Market analysis: Although there has been a wide range of agricultural robots designed for different specializations, they have different levels of maturities due to different business models, target crops, return on investment, and so on. This report analyses several business models and explains investors’ commercial challenges and concerns.
  • Company profiles:  More than 30 interview-based full company profiles with detailed SWOT analysis, over 40 company profiles without SWOT analysis, and the works of more than 80 companies listed and summarised.
  • Market forecasts: Granular 10-year (2022 – 2032) segmented market forecast for 6 categories including milking robots, weeding and seeding robots, autonomous tractors and implement carrying robots, drones, harvesting robots, and other applications. The report also contains 2 additional forecasts covering the total market size and unit sales for autonomous tractors and implement tractors. The market forecasts are primarily segmented by regions, thereby helping you to understand which territory is expected to have the fastest growth. Meanwhile, some forecasts are segmented based on application areas. All our assumptions and data points are clearly explained in the report and Excel spreadsheet.

The adoption of agbots is determined by both technical difficulty and application value
Although the technologies can vary significantly depending on the tasks, IDTechEx summarizes them into three mainstream categories that are autonomous mobility, direct interaction, and indirect interaction. The report explains how IDTechEx categorizes agricultural robots into these three categories, as well as within each category, the barriers and timeline of development, and what drives the core demand of farmers.

A good example is weeding robots and harvesting robots. One of the fundamental factors causing differences in the popularity of these two robots is the demand. In agriculture, harvesting is typically only needed for a few months, therefore, farmers are less willing to invest too much to get a machine that can only be used for a short period. By contrast, weeding machines are much more popular because weeding is constantly needed throughout the year. For this reason, weeding robot is much more commercialized available than harvesting robots.

Global market of agricultural robotics is projected to reach $7.88 billion by 2032
The global market for agricultural robots is forecast to reach $7.88 billion by 2032, with a CAGR of 13.09% compared with 2022. By 2032, Europe remains the largest market, followed by North America, APAC, South America, and MEA. North America and APAC are expected to have the quickest growth in the upcoming decade whereas Europe has the slowest growth.

To find out more about IDTechEx’s technical and commercial analysis of the agricultural robotics industry, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/agri. This report falls within the Food & AgTech research portfolio.

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