“Robotics is a potential solution that farmers are already using for other crops, such as fruits and vegetables. Harvesting robots use cameras and sensors to detect when crops are ready to pick and can remove them without damaging the plant.

For cotton, robotics offers more targeted picking of bolls that are ready to harvest. It produces better-quality cotton fiber by picking seed cotton as soon as the bolls open, without leaving it exposed to the weather. The robot targets the seed cotton and avoids touching other parts of the plant.

With robotic picking, cotton farmers don’t need to use defoliants to remove leaves from the plants prior to harvesting, which is a common practice now. And small, nimble robots don’t compress the soil as they move over it, so they help maintain soil health.”

From The Conversation.