Requirements and challenges
The Greek pilot will focus on spraying table grape vineyards. Table grapes is an important product in the Mediterranean basin and indeed, the EU is the third larger producer of table grapes in the world after China and Turkey. Getting the quality level needed is not an easy task for table grape growers, since the crop has a short shelf life, supermarkets and consumers impose very high-quality standards and the fruit is highly sensitive to pests and diseases, with preventive and curative spraying to occupy most of the farmer’s effort throughout the season. As a result, table grapes need up to 30 applications of pesticide and foliar fertilizer each growing season. Pegasus is the largest exporter of table grapes in Greece, with an area of 150 ha and an average yield of 13 t/ha. Additionally, labour costs are high and access to workforce is difficult (10 experienced workers for spraying in Pegasus Agrifood Coop), especially when considering the limited time window available for the spraying applications.
How Robs4Crops approaches the challenge
Robs4Crops addresses those challenges by deploying the Ceol robot and a retrofitted tractor (autonomous) as carrying platforms of the lift-mounted ASM model sprayer from Teyme (600L tank Capacity). Combining both platforms on the same sprayer and pilot will help our experts draw useful conclusions regarding reversibility and dynamic behavior of both systems in the hilly terrain of the Greek pilot areas. This will allow a direct comparison of both retrofit tractor and Ceol robot, under the same scenarios. Robs4Crops will fit ASM sprayer to both platforms requiring no extra system modifications, thus proving its universal compatibility.
Technology: Ceol robot, retrofitted tractor, ASM model sprayer from Teyme
Partners: Pegasus Agrifood Coop, Agricultural University of Athens, Teyme, University of Copenhagen, Fundacio Eurecat
Via trials in four countries – the Netherlands, France, Spain and Greece — Robs4Cros hopes to create a robotic farming solution consisting of three elements: smart implements, autonomous vehicles, and the farming controller.
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With the help of Ceol robot, ROBS4CROPS will reduce chemical use and labor costs, and evaluate the modularity of the platform.
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