From farming controllers and smart implements to fully autonomous farming systems, a new European Commission-funded project, Robs4Crops, is helping farmers fill labour shortages — shaking up the farming landscape.
The Robs4Crops project 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. Robs4Crops will demonstrate that robotics and related technologies can bring precision and repeatability to a series of mundane, repetitive tasks, thus reducing the need for humans to engage in work that is unpleasant, unhealthy and requires zero thinking. The project will start on 1 January 2021 and will run for four years.
In a bold commitment to mainstreaming robotic farming, Robs4Crops will provide a safe testing ground to iterate further and innovate within a nurturing ecosystem. 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.
The project will multiply its impact by fostering cooperation and synergies across the growing pan-European ecosystem of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and flagship EU-funded projects such as SmartAgriHubs, agROBOfood, etc.
Dr Frits van Evert, Senior Scientist at Wageningen University & Research and Robs4Crops Project Coordinator, commented: “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.”
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At a glance – Key facts and figures
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