Just before the sun rises in the Salinas Valley in southern San Francisco, a robot moves through a farm field expelling vapor clouds.
The robot is cutting lettuce heads using super high-pressure water beams and consuming the fresh products. The lettuce heads enter its mouth and continue to roll onto a conveyor belt. After that, the workers wearing a complete uniform grab the heads and remove the loose leaves.
On the other hand, workers across the road are harvesting lettuce using the old-fashion way, bending over with a knife in their hand. Isabel Garcia, a lettuce harvester working together with the robot, says that harvesting lettuce using the old-fashion way really hurts your back, especially if you are still a beginner. Doing that kind of job requires somebody who is really strong.
Robots for the Future of Farming
In Salinas Valley, tech types and farmers are working together to improve their agriculture. And they will not stop at Water-Powered Knife-wielding robots. The data of the robot will truly start an agricultural revolution. They will continue inventing robots that can help in agrarian work. It is not just about machines doing the jobs people don’t want to do, but robots doing work that are almost impossible for a human to do.
Taylor Farms are also modifying the products they produce to help the machine do an easy job. They have selected a type of lettuce that has a longer base for the water-powered knife to slice more efficiently. This is what the future of farming looks like, humans and robots helping each other to make their work a lot easier.
Robots to Replace Workers
There are a lot of people saying that robots will soon replace every worker in the world. However, in Salinas Valley, Garcia and the other farmers did not lose their jobs. Instead, they work together with the robot. Also, farms in California are facing a severe shortage of labor – around 20%. Robots will surely help the declining workforce in farming. Mark Borman, president of Taylor Farms California that is operating the robot, says that aside from the changing population in California, they also have an aging workforce.
That is why robots have to fill up the gap in California farms and even around the world. Everybody should expect that the technology growing in Salinas Valley will make its way throughout the world.