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Farmers are up against a monumental challenge: feeding a growing population with less available land, labor, and resources. The world’s population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, increasing the global food demand by 50%. However, overall employment of agricultural workers is only projected to grow by 1% by 2029, slower than average for all occupations.
At RoboBusiness (Oct. 18-19 in Santa Clara, Calif.), John Deere’s director of emerging technologies, Sarah Schnickel, will detail how advanced robotics are essential to helping farmers upskill limited labor and perform precise tasks at scale. This presentation will explore the value robotics bring to the farm and what other industries can learn from its purposeful use case in agriculture.
Robotics are also the key to bringing autonomy and automation to the farm. Today, farmers use highly-automated machines to prepare the soil, plant, spray, and harvest. With continued robotic innovation, farmers can perform tasks faster and with fewer resources to provide the food, fuel, and fiber our world needs.
Schnickel’s team focuses on researching, developing, and supporting the deployment of John Deere’s next-generation technologies to improve customer profitability and sustainability. She has 20-plus years of experience with software development for web and embedded systems, working in a variety of roles across development, systems engineering, and engineering management. Schnickel earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in engineering management from Iowa State University and has graduate certificates from Iowa State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
RoboBusiness is the leading event focused on developing commercial robots. There will be 60-plus speakers, 100-plus exhibitors and demos on the expo floor, networking receptions, the Pitchfire Robotics Startup Competition and more. You can check out the current list of speakers, to which more will be added.
RoboBusiness will be co-located with the Field Robotics Engineering Forum, an event focused on how to successfully develop robots that operate in wide-ranging, outdoor, dynamic environments. Also co-located with RoboBusiness is DeviceTalks West, the premier industry event for medical technology professionals, currently in its ninth year. Both events attract engineering and business professionals from a broad range of healthcare and medical technology backgrounds.
In 2022, John Deere introduced its first fully autonomous tractor, the John Deere 8R, which leverages computer vision and machine learning to enable the tractor to perceive the world around it, identify obstacles and safely operate without an onboard operator. The Robot Report attended the 2023 John Deere Technology Summit that showcased the state of the art in agtech from John Deere’s technology executives. You can read a recap of the event here.