The revolution of robotics in primary industries is the topic of the next free lecture in the University of Waikato's Tauranga public lecture series this month.

Professor Mike Duke's lecture on October 19 will explain the work of the university's AgriEngineering Research Group which aims to turn the vision of primary sector robotics and smart automation into a reality.

The professor of the university's School of Engineering said robots could help the primary industries sector reach targets of doubling primary exports to $64 billion by 2051 by bridging the gap of increasing labour costs.

"Increasing labour costs, mainly due to the need to import labour, and concerns over labour reliability, coupled with environmental and health and safety legislation are threatening the profitability of many primary sector companies."

He said to address these issues, the widespread introduction of robotics and smart machinery into New Zealand's primary industries could save companies money, improve safety, quality and efficiency.

"As the revolution progresses, we will have to get used to the sight of robots roaming the fields and orchards of New Zealand."

The free public lecture will be at the Tauranga Boys' College Graham Young Youth Theatre on September 19 from 6pm. Registration is essential.


For more information about the Tauranga Public Lecture Series visit, or to be added to the university's events list in Tauranga, contact