It's no secret by now that the rise of automation and robots is projected to displace millions of jobs in the coming years. Many low-skilled jobs will be wiped out because of robots, sending technological unemployment, the loss of jobs caused by technological change, through the roof.
The latest installment of technological change leading to short-term job loss could soon be seen in the fruit harvesting industry.
Israeli company, Tevel Aerobotics Technologies, has developed a flying autonomous robot (FAR) that works day and night to pick fruit. Artificial intelligence embedded within the FAR determines the ripest fruit to pick through sensors and computer vision.
"The FAR robot can work 24 hours a day and picks only ripe fruit. It uses AI perception algorithms to locate the trees and vision algorithms to detect the fruit among the foliage and classify its size and ripeness. After choosing the right fruit, the robot then works out the best way to approach the fruit and remain stable as its picking arm grasps the fruit," said Inceptive Mind.
"There are never enough hands available to pick fruit at the right time and the right cost. Fruit is left to rot in the orchard or sold at a fraction of its peak value, while farmers lose billions of dollars each year," the company's website said.
Below, FAR robots pick ripe apples instead of humans.
The automated system provides farmers with real-time updates on harvesting progress, time completion, quantity picked, and overall costs. At the end of Tevel's promotion video, it says, "this is our future."
Expanding more on the "future" as described by Tevel, one where robots will displace low-skilled workers, a "great transformation" is underway where upwards of 20 million jobs could be lost due to robots by 2030.