Smart Harvesting Becoming the New Face of Digital Agriculture – Everything One Must Know!

15 Nov 2022

In the last few decades, the agriculture industry has come a long way from using conventional farming techniques to modern agriculture technology. Rural agriculture's problems have finally been resolved by technology, which always aims to develop new solutions to increase output. 

The goal of smart farming technologies is to assist farmers in growing high-yield crops to feed the world's expanding population. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have led to the development of some remarkable devices that have proven to be immensely advantageous for farmers in tackling some major problems in the agriculture process.  

For instance, the advent of robotics in harvesting equipment has made the process of crop harvesting much easier and time efficient for farmers. The agriculture industry has witnessed numerous innovations with highly advanced smart harvesting equipment in the market. 

A few such innovations in the global smart harvest market and smart farming technologies have been discussed further in the article. But let’s first understand how does smart harvesting works. 

How does smart harvesting work?

Smart harvesting is performed with the help of harvesting robots and autonomous harvesters. Smart harvesting robots and autonomous harvesters utilize different types of sensors and imaging systems such as single-shot multibox detectors, ultrasonic sensors, compass sensors, 3D sensors, global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), radio-frequency identification (RFID), depth camera, and red, green, blue (RGB) camera. 

Additionally, smart harvesters also make use of a variety of on-premises and cloud-based applications. All these components aid in the management and improvement of fieldwork for farmers. 

A smart harvesting system also makes it possible to get real-time data from anywhere. Real-time data is helpful for keeping track of run hours for all in-field machinery and preventing mechanical damage during shaking activities. Smart harvesting devices also assist in monitoring and racking days from sweeping to shaking and plucking.

Owing to numerous advantages, the smart harvest market is expected to grow significantly.

According to the BIS Research report, the global smart harvest market was valued at $8.38 billion in 2021, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.50% and reach $16.85 billion by 2027. 

Increasing Adoption of Robotics Technology in Harvesting

Crop harvesting is a physically demanding, repetitive, and tedious occupation. It calls for a particular amount of expertise and a delicate touch. Agriculture autonomous robots that harvest crops use a variety of robotic parts that enable them to function in extreme heat and unfavorable conditions. 

These robots handle the delicate nature of crops while avoiding underripe or unhealthy produce using powerful computer vision and machine learning techniques. For instance, a fruit harvesting robot can identify when a fruit is ready, allowing it to select each fruit and vegetable without damaging it or wasting any. Various startups, as well as established players in the agriculture industry, are investing in fruit harvesting robots. 

Nanovel, an Israel-based firm that specializes in manufacturing fully automatic machines to help in the manual process of agricultural work, revealed its autonomous tree fruit harvester in October 2022. 

With the help of AI, computer vision, machine learning, and proprietary robotics technologies, Nanovel has developed an autonomous tree fruit harvester that is more efficient, dependable, and productive than hand harvesting. Citrus, stone fruit, avocado, and mango are just a few of the fruit varieties that the robot can grip and trim. 

Additionally, based on its data collection and analysis, it offers accurate harvest timing as well as insights into fruit yield and quality. According to Nanovel executives, the harvester is more cost-effective than manual picking methods.

The firm anticipates releasing its beta version for the citrus sector in 2023. Since its founding in 2018, Nanovel has been privately funded and operated covertly. In addition to undertaking field testing and client demonstrations of its robotic harvester, it has been diligently studying and developing its technologies, demonstrating the idea, protecting its intellectual property, and showing its viability.

Microsoft’s Holistic Smart Farming Solution: Project FarmVibes

Beyond autonomous harvesting robots, technology giants such as Microsoft are developing a complete set of digital tools using technologies such as AI, machine learning, and cloud computing.

In order to increase farmers' yields while lowering costs and assisting the agriculture sector in accepting responsibility for its role in climate change, Microsoft Research is open-sourcing its agricultural data and connection technology.

The technology platform, known as Project FarmVibes, incorporates the cloud provider's most recent research in precision and sustainable agriculture. It builds on data analysis and integration work with Microsoft's clients, such as Land O' Lakes and Bayer.

FarmVibes.AI is made up of three primary parts. The first one includes data intake and pre-processing routines that assist data acquisition for data fusion models specifically designed for agriculture. 

In addition, it offers examples of model training notebooks that make it simple to adjust current models as well as set up pre-processing for data. 

A computing engine that facilitates data ingestion as well as modifying current workflows and developing new ones using the adjusted model is the final component.

With this project, the company hopes to make it possible for researchers, practitioners, and data scientists to create low-cost digital tools that can assist farmers in estimating the emissions produced by their operations, preparing for climate change by forecasting weather variations and choosing the best management strategies for increasing soil health.


The emergence of technologies such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and robotics has resulted in a significant transformation of the ways in which agriculture is conducted.

By incorporating cutting-edge technologies such as robots and automation into their agricultural methods, farmers may overcome a variety of difficulties while also maximizing the sustainability and efficiency of their output.

Interested to know more about the growing technologies in your industry vertical? Get the latest market studies and insights from BIS Research. Connect with us at  [email protected] to learn and understand more


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