Forecast: Farming-robot shipments to near 1 million globally by 2024

From driverless tractors to field management and data collection, agricultural robotics has been on the rise, with the technology increasingly used in harvesting, pruning, weeding, pick-and-place, sorting, seeding, spraying and materials handling.

A recent report by Tractica said annual shipments of agricultural robots will reach 992,000 worldwide by 2024, up from just 33,000 so far in 2015.

Tractica, a market intelligence firm, predicts that some of the largest application segments will include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, for aerial surveying of farmlands, and cow-milking robots

"Demand for agricultural robots is being driven by a number of global trends," research analyst Manoj Sahi said. "Key economic and demographic factors influencing market development include population growth, increasing strain on the food supply, availability of farm workers, the challenges and complexities of farm labor, the cost of farm workers, shrinking farmlands, climate change, the growth of indoor farming and the automation of the agriculture industry."

Tractica's report, titled "Agricultural Robots," examines global market trends for agricultural robots and provides 10-year market sizing and forecasts for agricultural robot shipments and revenue during the 2015-2024 time frame.

The report focuses on market drivers and challenges, and also assesses key technology issues that will influence future market developments.

Altogether, 42 key and emerging industry players were profiled in the study. Also, market forecasts have been segmented by world region and by application type. An executive summary of the report has been made available for free download on the firm's website,

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