With growers reporting a shortage of workers, Robs4Crops hopes to accelerate a shifttowards large-scale implementation of robotics and automation in European farming.
Robs4Crops focuses on the most demanding and repetitive field operations, specifically mechanical weed control and spraying against pests and diseases. The new flexible and modular systems will greatly reduce the dependency on hired labour, increase safety, and be more environmentally friendly,
Farmers are being hit by falling commodity prices, labour shortages, and difficulties related to planting and harvesting crops – particularly during the pandemic, which has left fields of fruit and vegetables unharvested because thousands of seasonal workers were unable to travel to work due to the virus.
Robotics and automated solutions therefore offer the greatest opportunity for savings, safety, and increased productivity. 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.
As a result of the coronavirus, there is now heavy investment in robotics and automation in agriculture, but agricultural robots are not yet reaching their potential because they are used as stand-alone units rather than as part of a complete, innovative robotic system.
Via trials in four countries – the Netherlands, France, Spain and Greece — Robs4Crops hopes to create a robotic farming solution consisting of three elements: smart implements, autonomous vehicles, and the farming controller. Existing agricultural machinery and tractors will be upgraded so that, together with existing agricultural robots, they can function as parts of a robotic system. Development and testing will take place in practice, under real operating conditions, in the four countries.
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.