Human–robot interaction in agriculture: A survey and current challenges

Juan P. Vasconez*, George A. Kantor, Fernando A. Auat Cheein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Human–robot interaction (HRI) is an extensive and diverse research topic that has been gaining importance in last years. Different fields of study have used HRI approaches for solving complicated problems, where humans and robots interact in some way to obtain advantages from their collaboration. Many industrial areas benefit by applying HRI strategies in their applications, and agriculture is one of the most challenging of them. Currently, field crops can reach highly autonomous levels whereas speciality crops do not. In particular, crops such as fruits and vegetables are still harvested manually, and also some tasks such as pruning and thinning have long been considered to be too complex to automate completely. In addition, several countries face the problem of farm labour shortages. As a consequence, the production process is affected. In this context, we survey HRI approaches and ap-plications focused on improving the working conditions, agility, efficiency, safety, productivity and profitability of agricultural processes, in cases where manual labour cannot be replaced by but can be complemented with robots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Agriculture robotics
  • Collaborative robotics
  • Human–robot interaction
  • Precision agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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