When you think about the future of robotics, your initial thoughts are probably far from the kitchen, and perhaps further away from preparing fresh meals. Yet this advanced technology is entering every corner of our lives, and robots are emerging as growing part of the future of food.
If thinking about a figure filled with robots making our food leaves you feeling a little uncomfortable, I have to admit, I was a part of that club until I watched the video we are sharing with you today.
My initial thoughts on robot-made food had created visions of processed junk food in my head. It turns out, though, that I was completely wrong! Advancements in technology and agricultural robots are making it easier for produce farmers to grow healthier foods like fresh fruits and vegetables in more affordable ways. While the presence of robots in food preparation gives more people access to freshly prepared foods!
Here is the video from Wired to help show us what the future of food will look like!
A Need for Agricultural Robots
Around the globe, healthier foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are becoming more expensive while processed foods linked to increased health problems are becoming cheaper and more easily accessed.
A 2015 study by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), an independent think tank focused on humanitarian issues and international development, found that in the emerging economies of Brazil, China, Korea, and Mexico, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables has risen by up to 19% from 1990 to 2012. In addition, the cost of processed foods, like ready-made meals has dropped by up to 20%. 2
If you want to read a really great and informative article about the impact the price of food is having on the health of the world population, check out this article from NPR.
So, where do robots fit into all of this?
Clearly, the problem of access to fresh, unprocessed foods is complicated by many factors across the globe, but certainly, one major limiting factor for many is the cost. Introducing agricultural robots into farming not only allows a dwindling population of farmers across the world to produce more food, it also decreases the cost of doing so. And the benefits of these reduced labor costs can be passed down to us, the consumers.
Though we probably won’t see the great robotics revolution in agriculture happen overnight, it is a future we should not only be prepared for but be unafraid of!
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- “How Food-Bots Are Changing How We Eat | Robots & Us | WIRED.” YouTube. WIRED, 10 May 2017. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKBHnbYo-4s>. ↩
- Overseas Development Institute. “The Price of Vegetables Jumps by up to 91% While the Cost of Some Processed Foods Drops by up to 20%, Driving Obesity – New Report.”ODI. ODI, 05 May 2015. Web. 24 May 2017. <https://www.odi.org/news/756-price-vegetables-jumps-by-up-91-while-cost-some-processed-foods-drops-by-up-20-driving-obesity-new-report>. ↩