Episode 16 – Small Farming Robots – Rethinking Food Production to Help Restore the Environment– Ben Scott-Robinson, Small Robots

The agricultural impacts of farming are vast. And these impacts come in all forms from initial land use change and the loss of habitat and wildlife that comes with that to the impacts of fertilisers and pesticides.

Then you have the state of our farm soils which is a massive concern, with every bit of life almost squeezed out of them.

So these are some pretty big issues to solve. Behavioural changes will help of course, with a move away from eating as much meat being a big one. But even then we will still have to produce other crops to feed an ever-growing world population set to reach over 10 billion in the coming decades. The reality is if we carry on farming in the way we are doing we are pretty screwed.

And you may be saying, just go organic but it isn’t that simple. You see, recent studies have shown that because organic food requires more land on average an overnight switch to organic would mean land use change and potentially even higher carbon emissions.

So maybe technology can help us out. Perhaps a new agricultural revolution is required to completely change the way we think about farming and the company I have found are attempting to do just that.

Small robots is UK based agri-tech startup that aims to replace large agricultural vehicles with much smaller more precise autonomous robots. Potentially completely changing the way we think about farming from planting crops to monitoring their health to harvesting.

This has the potential to have massive positive implication for food production but I’m hoping it could have environmental benefits as well. In this interview, I speak to one of the founders of the company Ben Scott Robinson to find out more and to see if these small robots can help solve some of the environmental problems caused by farming….  

If you want to follow Small Robots on Twitter: https://twitter.com/smallrobotco

And some other resources:

Small Robot Company website:
– General info on our benefits: https://www.smallrobotcompany.com/why-small
Third party articles:
– Feature article on the Guardian website (environment section): https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/20/space-robots-lasers-rise-robot-farmer
– A blog on the Pesticide Action Network website focusing on the pesticide issues we resolve: http://www.pan-uk.org/three-small-robots-and-their-quest-to-save-the-world/small-robot-company-waitrose/

Rob Wreglesworth

Rob is the head writer at Innovate Eco sharing knowledge and passion cultivated over 10 years working in the Environmental Sector. He is on a mission to build a community of people that are passionate about solving environmental problems.

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