-Rachel Estabrook, NPR, 26 June 2013.
From manufacturing to cupcake sales, companies are finding that machines can often do the job just as well, or better, than humans. But some tasks – like picking and tending to fruit and vegetable crops – have remained the territory of low-wage laborers.
But labor-starved growers are now eying machines with increasing interest.
That’s partly because the technology has come a long way. New machines use computers and vision sensors to replicate the human ability to handle delicate crops. In recent years that technology has gotten cheaper, making it more feasible for farm use.
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