Field Robots for Intelligent Farms—Inhering Features from Industry
Estimations of world population growth urgently require improving the efficiency of agricultural processes, as well as improving safety for people and environmental sustainability, which can be opposing characteristics. Industry is pursuing these objectives by developing the concept of the "intelligent factory" (also referred to as the "smart factory") and, by studying the similarities between industry and agriculture, we can exploit the achievements attained in industry for agriculture. This
... ticle focuses on studying those similarities regarding robotics to advance agriculture toward the concept of "intelligent farms" (smart farms). Thus, this article presents some characteristics that agricultural robots should gain from industrial robots to attain the intelligent farm concept regarding robot morphologies and features as well as communication, computing, and data management techniques. The study, restricted to robotics for outdoor farms due to the fact that robotics for greenhouse farms deserves a specific study, reviews different structures for robot manipulators and mobile robots along with the latest techniques used in intelligent factories to advance the characteristics of robotics for future intelligent farms. This article determines similarities, contrasts, and differences between industrial and field robots and identifies some techniques proven in the industry with an extraordinary potential to be used in outdoor farms such as those derived from methods based on artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, Big Data techniques, and cloud computing procedures. Moreover, different types of robots already in use in industry and services are analyzed and their advantages in agriculture reported (parallel, soft, redundant, and dual manipulators) as well as ground and aerial unmanned robots and multi-robot systems.