Initially the costs of each machine will no doubt run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars but at the rate of picking and without the weekly pay schedules, then surely it would not be boastful to say that a single machine could be paid for maybe within the first 2 years of purchasing that one machine.
Robots are being designed to not only pick, but to use a vacuum approach as well. Fruits and vegetables will not be harmed in any way as the technology goes into more delicate designs. Whatever way and whichever preference a farmer might choose, it is the worker man who will be the loser in the end.
Such robots may not be available until 2019 – we will see. Once an idea is put onto the table, then it is not long before a more efficient quicker way will be found to bring production closer to the current time I am sure.
New plans for planting will have to also be brought into place because at the moment, the fields and pastures are designed for man to walk down each row. A machine would have to have a more efficient plan of architecture in order for it to be totally obedient to its programming once the first flick of the button is operated. Bigger players will be the first to try the new robots out and depending on reliability as well as the cost structures will decide from that point on to determine the success of continuing to use such equipment.
Some farmers may opt to use machines as well as manual labour. How long that would work would depend on the younger generation with their choices of work and ideas.
It is indeed a sad day that the younger generation will almost certainly opt for less labour intensive work. But it is coming and I already see it in action as I look around today.
Starting out sweeping floors or making the coffee or cleaning toilets is not attractive to the younger generation who want what they want NOW. Not one of them has even given the thought of working towards their higher goals much consideration. I have seen ladders in corporations where the younger generation are so quick to step on their colleagues shoulders in order to rise quickly.
The future is indeed scary.
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