Since the start of the year, the French large-scale pilot (LSP1) has successfully completed a total of 15 comprehensive weeding operations using its two robots across five distinct plots. Remarkably, LSP1 has maintained its projected timeline without encountering significant technical hurdles. Additionally, significant advancements have been made in the development of Smart implements. Having undergone three testing sessions, the weeding quality sensors now operate flawlessly, enabling the robot to seamlessly communicate its precise position and speed to the farming controller.
The successful execution of the aforementioned test sessions owes its accomplishment to the active engagement of consortium members. Their invaluable contributions encompass the installation of sensors and the corresponding computational systems, ensuring the seamless functioning of the entire setup. The consortium’s involvement not only provides us with the chance to explore novel technologies that enhance the intelligence of weeding processes but serves as a mere illustration of their broader significance.
The farmers collaborating with LSP1 demonstrate high enthusiasm for the innovative technologies employed. As the robot continues to enhance its capabilities, their interest grows, as they actively monitor our experiments. While they may not have personally operated a robot, they unmistakably recognize the integration of robots into agricultural operations.
In 2023, LSP1 is engaged in experimental activities across five plots, requiring approximately seven rounds of weeding per year. The weeding season spans from November/December to July/August, indicating that LSP1 is currently at the midpoint of its operations. Regarding the Smart Implements, the integration of weeding quality sensors is nearing completion and expected to be fully functional by early May. Moreover, LSP1 is focused on the objective of empowering farmers by “putting the robot in their hands.” This initiative involves conducting fieldwork sessions with multiple winegrowers, enabling the collection of valuable data. The co-design session planned for 2023 will be integrated into this undertaking.
Wageningen University & Research
Department of Agrosystems Research
PO Box 16
6700 AA Wageningen
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101016807.
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