SEOUL -- LG Uplus will work with the state-run Korea Institute of Robot and Convergence (KIRO) to develop smart farm robots using 5G technologies. With rapid advances in sensor and computer technologies, there have been growing demands for autonomous equipment. The mobile carrier has expanded the use of its service and technology to smart farms and agricultural machinery.
For real-time video transmission and precise location information, LG Uplus (U+) said it would provide a low latency video transmission board and a real-time kinematic (RTK) terminal as well as technical support for communication modules, terminals and general-purpose 5G antennas.
In 2019, the company teamed up with LS Mtron, a manufacturer of electronic components, to demonstrate an unmanned tractor remotely controlled by a farmer to plow farmland. "LG Uplus will continue to strengthen cooperation with specialized companies in each field so that the smart farm market can grow dramatically," LGU+'s new business division head Cho Won-seok said in a statement on July 26.
Researchers have developed various automation technologies such as unmanned drones, autonomous tractors and other smart farming equipment. Automation is gaining popularity among farmers as robots and facilities improve work efficiency and the quality of crops.
In 2020, KIRO opened a demonstration center for smart robots that would assist farmers at paddocks and crop fields. "We hope that through this cooperation with LG Uplus, various agricultural robots and automation systems developed by KIRO will be successfully applied to precision agriculture and contribute greatly to agricultural development," said KIRO head Yuh Jun-ku.
South Korea has beefed up its smart farming industry in an effort to fill up a workforce vacuum in the conventional agriculture industry that has been accelerated by an aging society. Government data showed that about 46 percent of the farming population consists of old people over 70.
Smart farms require minimum space and workforce as artificial intelligence-based facilities autonomously control a farming environment such as light, moisture and wind to accelerate the growth of crops and livestock. Smart farming is more eco-friendly as the technique does not require as many resources like water and fossil fuel. Crops can be grown in urban areas inside container-like facilities built on idle spaces.
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