Experts say that robotic technology is needed for farms to cope with labor shortages, as they boost productivity to supply the increasing amounts of food that the world's growing population will demand in the years ahead.
"In 1950, each farmer had to produce enough food for 10 people," explains Susan Eustis of WinterGreen Research, a Lexington, Mass.-based forecasting firm. "By 2014, he had to produce enough for 150." By early in the next decade, with the help of technology, "we think he'll be producing enough food to feed 500."
Eustis predicted that by 2020, global agriculture will be spending $25 billion a year on robotics — not including aerial drones, which already are being used to keep an eye on crops.