I guess it was not too far from the truth with moisture farmers Owen Lars owning some droids to help him out, as that science fiction scene has been translated somewhat to the real world with Massachusetts startup Harvest Automation working on a tiny mobile robot which is meant to protect nurseries in order to address a volatile labor market problem. Currently under beta testing, this tiny robot might soon replace humans when it comes to ensuring each plant in your nursery is well watered and free from infections and pests.

Needless to say, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done when it comes to getting robots to help in a nursery, as you will need to place your crops in neat rows for a semi-structured environment, otherwise the robots would have a difficult time finding their way around. Harvest Automation’s robots measure just knee-high, and will move around on wheels. Each of them will sport a gripper that will grasp pots, a deck to tote them around, as well as a bunch of sensors which helps it navigate without bumping into obstacles or a fellow robot.

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