From farm to table, how robots are invading the food industry

We’re now at a point where we’ve progressed so far that food production is being taken over by machines.
6:57 | 08/06/20

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Transcript for From farm to table, how robots are invading the food industry
One of the most significant achievements of the human race was agriculture. Cultivation and production of food. It's what made it possible for humans to progress from nomadic hunter gatherer tribes and go on to develop settlements and cities civilization in general and many of the technological marvels that we enjoy today. Interestingly though we're now at a point where we progressed so far that food production is now being taken over by machine. Arnold that's a good thing or not but what I do know is that it's happening all around us now more than ever robots are taking over from. I'm Andrew Pringle and this is robots everywhere a show where we chronicle the slow but steady takeover of our future robot overlord and show you how they're making their way to practically every facet of modern life. So there are three main areas where robots interact with our food. During the farming stage during the processing stage and fairly recently they've also started getting involved during the cooking and serving exchange. Let's start at the route that the farming state. Without a doubt the best example of robot farming is John years autonomous tractors. Functionally speaking these things are pretty much exactly the same as traditional tractors depending on what you attached to them they can be used for planting fertilizing it harvesting and a bunch war. But there's one key difference. These ones can do all of that without any help from a human. They're equipped with an absolutely dizzying range of environmental sensors it. Navigation systems and GPS all of which allows them to drive along and do their thing with minimal human supervision. And sometimes not at all. The idea is that this allows human farmers to get more work done with less manpower tractors are just one piece of the pie though. There also robots that take care of things like fertilizing irrigation and even weed removal. Take DJ eyes actress drew for example. This monster off the copter is designed to carry a sixteen meter payload of what every one. Pesticides herbicides fertilizers whatever and autonomously dispense it over your crops. Now if flying robots aren't your thing don't worry they're actually plenty of ground based crop tending robots to. Like this one from California start up farm wives. This being crawls through fields and uses artificial intelligence getting onto different sensors to analyze the health of each individual plant that passes over. Then makes a calculation based on the plane's condition and dispense is exactly what that plant needs water fertilizer pesticide whatever. All as it slowly crawls along. Oh. Okay. Now in a dish agriculture robots are also pretty well established when it comes to processing food as well. Don't typically think of them as robots but for decades food processing plants have become increasingly ought to be. So much so that at this point the bulk of the work in the average food processing facility isn't done by humans it's done by machines. Now if you've ever seen an episode of how it works you've probably seen a factory who robot war. My personal favorite is the one where they show how hot dogs which apparently involve this machine which I'm assuming it's called the weenie blaster 9000 because that's the only appropriate name for something that shoots out sausage that. That however is arguably one of the most primitive examples of the food processing replied. He gate way more sophisticated. Like this pick in place robot from Amman. This thing uses computer vision to sort bell peppers and then places than any stoplight formation before they're sent off for packaging. Again though that's barely even scratching the surface. To get a full sense of just how advanced food processing robots or check out the Alexi cuts since this machine is designed to cut and processed fish Belize which. Sounds easy at first but is actually fairly complex. There's lots of variation in new ones too because usually aren't you know woman's eyes cheaper in composition and certain parts of the -- are more valuable than others. So the machine has to handle each one of them differently. To do this it first uses X race to find the location of all of the pin bones and fish. It uses advanced software to determine exactly the rate cut configuration angle before finally using water jet cutting for bone removal. And also portion of Belize according to B specification. All of this happening in a matter of seconds. So clearly robots have taken over food processing but what about cooking and serving. Well if there's any part of where humans still play a bigger role. Machines it's definitely at this last. Cooking requires a symphony of different sensory. Sights smells sound touch and above all taste. And right now robots don't really have those abilities but that's not stopping them from making some serious progress in the kitchen just this week. Researchers unveiled an omelet making room could crack in a. Beating pour the mixture into a hot skillet and then move it around to prevent it from bird. I have adult human friends that still came. Then there's also flipping the world's foremost burger flipping robot. Now again flipping burgers might not sound like a particularly difficult activity especially for us humans but for robots it's wildly complex. Things like physically flipping the burger or measuring the internal temperature of the mean there isn't enough to pull up for robot what. Cooking the burger also requires understanding when it's done and what a properly cooked hamburger patty actually looks like. Do what I can do that with our senses and some knowledge gained from years of kitchen experience but. It doesn't have those senses are training so instead he uses his computer vision algorithms and thermal sensors to make it. Now whenever flipping comes up people get all worried about robots taking over jobs but in most instances including flipping they're actually designed to work alongside humans to meet their jobs easier. Eight Greek example of this is the healthy fast casual restaurant called spikes which is in Boston Massachusetts. This police humans prep and serve the food but robots do practically all of the country. When you order something. Machines dispense all of the pre prepared ingredients of that age in with special automated coupon which stirs and cooks the food simultaneously by sort of tumbling around. Then when the dish is ready the robot basically does dumps the mixture doable with for the human adds dressings garnish isn't whatever and then delivers it to the customer. The idea here is that robots don't replace human workers they simply reduce the staff that's needed to run a restaurant. And therefore allowed to operate more efficiently so that he can serve healthy new precious food at an affordable price. So while I have personally oppose the idea of surrendering all of our human food making traditions robots and kind of letting machines prepare all of our meals for us. There's no denying that allowing robots help us out at every point in the process can make them cheaper healthier and more accessible to everyone. And for that reason it's not such a bad thing to have robots everywhere even in our kitchens.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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