Future Farming magazine and the international robot event FIRA are introducing the Ag Robot Award of Year election. Outdoor field and harvest robots that crop growers can buy or rent in 2023 are eligible.
The market for field robots for outdoor crop production is slowly starting to mature. The Future Farming robot buying guide now lists more than 50 ag robots that farmers can purchase or lease. For the year 2023, more than a dozen new robots have been added to the buying guide. They are multifunctional field robots, robots that can harvest crops or very specific ones that are dedicated to a single task such as weed removal.
The large and diverse range of field robots doesn’t make it easier for farmers to choose the right type of robot for their farming operation. In addition, robot makers do not always understand the harsh conditions under which their outdoor field robots must do their work. Let alone the tasks and work farmers struggle with that they would like to see automated. These are the main reasons for Future Farming and FIRA to start the Ag Robot of the Year election.
The more than a dozen newcomers in the 2023 Future Farming field robot buying guide are by all means eligible for Ag Robot of the Year 2023. However, manufacturers or suppliers can still submit their robot to the editors of Future Farming until 12 January 2023. Important conditions are that your field or harvesting robot must be for sale or lease in 2023 in a region, country or multiple countries. This includes an indication of the purchase or lease price. Only so-called field robots that make outdoor crop production more efficient and sustainable are eligible. Robots for use in greenhouses or livestock housing are not eligible.
In 2020 and 2021, Future Farming and FIRA annually elected the Best Field Robot Concept. This was primarily to encourage start-ups and pioneers who are passionate about developing new robots. Start-ups developing a fully autonomous robot or innovative autonomous system for agriculture can now apply for the FIRA Start-Up pitch sessions, to be held during World FIRA 2023.
An international jury will choose the winner from among all robots listed in Future Farming’s buying guide in mid-January that are new for market launch in 2023. The jury includes robot experts from Future Farming, Wageningen University & Research and the global robot organisation GOFAR. But the most important voice have the farmers on the jury coming from different parts of the world including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe and the US. The jury will pay particular attention to practical applicability and added value for farming practices.
The Ag Robot of the Year 2023 will be announced during the World Fira 2023 that will take place from 7 to 9 February 2023 in Toulouse/Auzeville-Tolosane (France). Do you think your robot qualifies? Report it to the editors of Future Farming by 16 January firstname.lastname@example.org.