Robots Have Arrived! bESTology Week 11

Published by rrfenton on

Robots Have Arrived! bESTology Week 11



As bESTologists, we may ask:

  • Are the current methods of farming sustainable?
  • Are farming tools becoming less effective?
  • Are farmers damaging the ecosystem?
  • Are we producing enough food to feed the increasing global population?
  • Does something have to be done?

If so, are robots the answer?

Laser guided radio navigation systems, field smart artificial intelligence and pan-tilt cameras are only three of the thousands of new types of high-tech high-demand digital technologies being embraced by farmers around the world.

Robots are already operational in fields, barns and skies increasing production and lowering labor costs. The state-of-the-art robots replace traditional seasonal workers and require an innovative workforce with advanced skill sets.

The robots have arrived and bESTologists are crucial to high-tech farming!



Automation has arrived and farmers are making the transition.  Begin a grainstorming session by sketching two farms, one labeled traditional and the other automated.  After viewing and/or reading the above resources, write the following on the sketch it would most likely apply to:

  • reduced workplace injuries
  • production 24/7
  • decreased chemical usage
  • selective harvesting
  • aerial spraying

Continue grainstorming by having a team discussion of farming careers.  List careers that will/may be eliminated by robots and careers that will/may be created by new technology.  

BEST Farm Journal

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) has become STEAM by adding Art!

Choose twenty words that describe the automation of farming and write them in your farm journal.  Next, generate a word cloud displaying your words in a creative format.  Download and save your word cloud to incorporate art into various components of the BEST Award during Bet The Farm.  

BEST Robot

Programming!  Writing code!  Sensors!  Technology!

Evaluate and analyze a prior BEST robot and determine what sensors would be required to transform the robot into a fully autonomous mode. In addition to the robot, list other modifications that would need to be included in the field design for the robot to function properly.  

Write a proposal to BEST Robotics Inc. for one sensor that you would like to see included in the kit for 2017.  Include any additional requirements that would be needed also such as programming language, field components, etc.  

Community Connection

Robots have arrived on the farm, how have they arrived in your community?  For the next five days, capture photos of automated processes in your community.  Create a collage of the photos and share on the BEST Facebook page.

Identify a local manufacturer or business that embraces automation and arrange for a tour of the facility or a Skype interview.  Afterwards, reflect on how their automation processes could be applied to farming and agriculture industries.  Evaluate the automation in the above resources (farm related) and determine how, if any, with modifications, could enhance the manufacturing process(es) for local business.  

Bloom’s Taxonomy: analyze, arrange, brainstorm, capture, choose, create, determine, discuss, download, evaluate, generate, include, label, list, read, reflect, save, sketch, view, write

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, writing, science, judgment and decision making, programming, equipment selection, operations analysis, systems evaluation, technology design

While the information contained in this website has been compiled from sources believed to be current and reliable, Friends of BEST in Alabama, Inc. (FBA) cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or content changes. Links made from this website are to reputable organizations at the time of posting. However, FBA cannot be held responsible for content on such linked websites. The existence of such links does not represent an endorsement by FBA of any views expressed or products or services offered.

Download a PDF copy of Robots Have Arrived – bESTology Week 11 – Click HERE

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