Robots are clearly unfit for restaurant work, but maybe manual labor is more suited to their skillset. At least, that’s what Japan hopes.
According to Bloomberg, the average age of a Japanese farmer is 67 and the younger generation shows no interest in taking over the industry. The country is facing a farmer shortage. In response, Japan’s agriculture ministers recently met to address this issue and came up with a solution: robots. The country’s ministry of agriculture wants to dedicate 4 billion yen ($36 million) to developing autonomous tractors and twenty different types of farming robots—including a wearable, robotic backpack that helps aging farmers harvest and carry produce and a robot that can separate out overripe peaches.
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The initiative is far from a pipe dream. It’s already underway. Kubota Corp. has already created a prototype for an autonomous tractor that can cultivate and fertilize rice paddies.