Innovations and the market entry of agricultural robots threaten to fail due to the lack of a legal framework. This is the conclusion of the Agro Innovation Lab in a new status report. As BayWa AG, one of the sponsors of the Agro Innovation Lab (AIL), reported, agricultural robots are already technically so advanced that they could soon be used in agriculture more often. It is now up to the legislators to create the right regulations at the European level for this option as swiftly as possible.
BayWa referred to estimates according to which the market for robotics will grow by 40% by 2025, also having a sustained impact on the agricultural sector. Mechanical solutions are becoming increasingly important as the requirements placed on resource-conserving production methods are rising and less and less labour is available.
In the future, agricultural robots could support humans in physically strenuous work and thus help to solve the growing problem of a lack of labour in agriculture. Robots could also be used for mechanical control of weeds or mildew in the future, and not only in organic farming.
According to BayWa, 100 robotics companies worldwide were classified for the status report of the AIL with regard to their current degree of maturity as well as the functionality and areas of application of their agricultural robots. The report also covers the legal and regulatory framework in the EU with a special focus on Germany and Austria and names the central challenges for the developing companies and farmers.