31 Mar 2018

The farmer-less farms of the future

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 31 March 2018

For the first time ever, a UK design team have grown and harvested a crop without a single human being setting foot in the field.

The Hands Free Hectare project uses drones, driverless tractors and retrofitted combine harvesters instead of human operators.

A crop of barley has already been harvested and now a second crop of winter wheat is in the ground.

Jonathan Gill is a robotics engineer at Harper Adams University and he's part of the Hands Free Hectare team.

"We believe the best solution is that in the future, farmers will manage fleets of smaller, autonomous vehicles. These will be able to go out and work in the fields, allowing the farmer to use their time more effectively and economically instead of having to drive up and down the fields"- Jonathan Gill.