San Francisco Based Robotic Start-Up Advancing in Agriculture with Self-Driven Tractors


Bear Flag Robotics start-up, a San Francisco based company led by Igino Cafiero and Aubrey Donnellan, laid out its plans to build self-driven tractors this is after the two observed the need to increase labourers in the agricultural sector. Igino Cafiero and Aubrey Donnellan saw the need to utilize modern technologies like satellite imagery and computer vision to deal with this labour insufficiency issue which made them start developing this technology to help in the whole process. The agro industry is going through serious issue of labour shortage which means that the introduction of this technology will go a long way in boosting production. While talking about their observations regarding labor issue Donnellan said:

“We got a tour of an orchard and just how pronounced the labor problem is, they’re struggling to fill seats on tractors. We talked to other growers in California. We kept hearing the same thing over and over: labor is one of the most significant pain points. It’s really hard to find quality labor. The workforce is aging out. They’re leaving the country and going into other industries.”

These Autonomous tractors developed by Bear Flag Robotics will be fully self-driven and well equipped with high sensors that will be helping them to perform the duties assigned to them through computer commands. Talking about how the system will work, Cafiero said:

“We have this platform that we’ve plugged a ton of sensors into it. That includes cameras too. When you look forward, once we’ve automated the driving part, the sky’s the limit in terms of utilizing some of this technology once it’s out there. When we’re out there we can use these cameras, and be able to make recommendations and spot treatment in the field.”

This technology will present a lot of benefits to the Agro industry since it will eliminate some of the challenges that the labourers experience during performance of their duties like working under hazardous conditions which was also explained by one of the company official who reiterated:

“Laborer’s are in the field all day long, sometimes in inclement conditions. One of the tasks we’re automating is spraying, fungicides, herbicides, and these people out there, they’re wearing hazmat suits. It’s not good for their health to be doing these tasks in general. When you’re presented in higher paying jobs in other fields, there’s less of a case to go into that job, and there’s demand in a lot of other industries like construction [and other industries] where it’s easier work and better pay.”

The use of self-driven tractor will help the laborers to work securely, efficiently and in ideal conditions due to elimination of some of the hazardous conditions by the technology which will in the end help in boosting production. #Rewordit


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