Osaka (Jiji Press) — Nippon.com is reporting that Kubota Corp. will release a rice planting machine with automated driving functions in October. Earlier this month, the company said that it was investing in a harvesting robot manufacturer based in the U.S.
According to the report, the aim of the machine is to reduce the burden on farmers by reducing the need for manpower in the process of planting rice by using mapping and GPS technology. While a human driver is not necessary with the autonomous planting system, the machine requires via a remote controller.
Rice planting is usually done by two people — a driver of the planting machine and an assistant who keeps it refilled with seedlings. The automated rice planter reduces the number of people needed for the process to one as the person monitoring the machine can also refill it with seedlings.