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Robots Key to New Ways of Farming as Labor Shortage Looms


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A robot harvests and transports tomatoes.

According to Japan's farm ministry, while there were about 1.23 million farm workers in 2022, that figure is estimated to fall by about 75% in the next two decades.

Credit: Denso Corp.

Robots increasingly are being deployed on farms in Japan amid an impending labor shortage.

The startup Agrist operates a farm in Shintomi that uses robots instead of humans to harvest bell peppers.

The robots each are equipped with two cameras and AI trained to identify ripe peppers, which are cut from stems using extendable arms, which then places the peppers in a cart.

Meanwhile, Asai Nursery in Mie Prefecture has teamed up with auto parts manufacturer Denso Corp. on AgriD, a joint venture in which robots are used to harvest and transport tomatoes.

From The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)
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