Bringing the farmer perspective to agricultural robots

From farming controllers and smart implements to fully autonomous farming systems, Robs4Crops is helping farmers fill labour shortages — shaking up the farming landscape.

Time for change in our changing times

Farmers are being hit by falling commodity prices, labor shortages, and difficulties related to planting and harvesting crops as the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness tightens its grip around the world.

Robotics and automated solutions offer the greatest opportunity for both savings, safety, and increased productivity and will continue to progress with advances in sensing and decision-making capabilities.

Robotics and related technologies bring precision and repeatability to mundane tasks, reducing the need for farmers to engage in work that is unpleasant, unhealthy and requires zero thinking.

Robotics, AI and the future of food

Our flexible and modular new-generation system will greatly reduce the dependency of farmers on hired labour, increase safety, and reduce the use of inputs and the overall carbon footprint of food production. Robs4Crops focuses on the most demanding and repetitive field operations, namely mechanical weed control and spraying against pests and diseases.

Smart implements

Sprayer implements will support the entire application loop ranging from perception up to decision and actuation. Weeding implements like IC-weeder from Steketee will be equipped with additional sensors to assess in real-time the effectiveness of the implement

Autonomous vehicles

Autonomous robots/tractors with a sensing of environment, localisation and navigation that are able to communicate with smart implements.

Farming controller

Planning and scheduling software. The Farming controller uses Digital Twin technology for pro-active and reactive planning and scheduling. Data is stored in FMIS/ERP, along with all other information needed by the Farming controller.

A Note from the Coordinator

“Agriculture is very sensitive to the cost and scarcity of labour. And making cultivation practices more efficient and sustainable is critical. Robs4Crops is a game-changer in revitalising the European food and farm industry and the vital catalyst in accelerating the adoption of high-tech robotics and automated technologies in agriculture.”

Dr Frits van Evert, Senior Scientist at Wageningen University & Research and Robs4Crops Project Coordinator

 

 

The trials will be conducted in partnership with commercial farms and business leaders from France, Greece, Spain, and The Netherlands.

Design used to be the seasoning

Design is everywhere. From the dress you’re wearing to the smartphone you’re holding, it’s design. If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.

Mainstreaming robotic farming

We put the farmers and end-users at the heart of everything we do: from user requirements analysis to iterative testing and the business model experimentation process. The trials will be conducted in partnership with commercial farms and business leaders from France, Greece, Spain, and The Netherlands.

A wide ecosystem – bringing together all the different private and public players (e.g., farmers, retailers, regulatory bodies, technology providers, citizens) in a co-innovation dynamic to support all aspects of the practical application of agricultural robots.
Robotic farming system using knowledge from industrial manufacturing to achieve full autonomy, and that fits with existing agricultural machinery, practices, and standards.

Large-scale pilots will serve as a “proof testing” of the technical advances and demonstrators of socio-economic benefits and business potential of the Robs4Crops robotic farming system; to be established in four countries, scaling it up to a wide network.

Our Partners

Robs4Crops is a four-year project co-funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Led by Wageningen University and Research, the consortium is a diverse and dynamic network of partners, representing key players in pure robotic science and engineering, agricultural robotics industry, agricultural and social sciences, real-world farming, and sustainability-driven innovation practices and collaborative business models.

Robs4Crops will accelerate the shift towards large-scale implementation of robotics and automation in European farming. With a €7.9 million budget co-funded by the European Union, the project represents a high-tech paradigm shift with a tremendous potential impact on productivity, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.

Robotic farming moving to larger scale

Our newsletter covers the most exciting topics in robotic farming, carefully curated by our team. Keep up to date with the latest developments and technologies, upcoming events, and details on Robs4Crops pilots.