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Robots assist farmers say goodbye to repetitive duties

Jul 31, 2022 (Nanowerk Information) We don’t typically take into consideration the labour that goes into bringing our favorite fruit and veggies to our desk. For farmers, rising wholesome crops entails repetitive duties reminiscent of weeding and spraying whereas the crop is rising. These duties are usually not solely repetitive, they’re additionally pricey and time-consuming. Robotic applied sciences can resolve these issues by relieving farmers from work that’s mundane, unhealthy and unsightly. With this answer in thoughts, the ROBS4CROPS undertaking is working to speed up the large-scale implementation of robotics and automation in European farming. Its principal targets are to extend productiveness, enhance effectivity and promote environmental sustainability. The ROBS4CROPS answer consists of a robotic platform that may help farmers with totally different duties and will also be tailor-made to totally different settings. Pilot testing is being carried out in Greece, Spain, France and the Netherlands. “With ROBS4CROPS we mix know-how and enterprise experience, in addition to on-field know-how by growers. They’re these giving perception and inputs to excellent the system,” states Progress Lead Maja Žikić of ROBS4CROPS undertaking associate Foodscale Hub, Serbia, in a information merchandise posted on the ‘Innovation Origins’ web site. “The thought is to carry all of the members of the worth chain collectively.”

Two options to the desk

The undertaking will present farmers with two totally different options for automating processes. Within the absolutely automated answer, weeding and spraying are carried out autonomously by robots. Within the partially automated choice, tractors are retrofitted with a sensible field to automate processes. “Each platforms shall be topped up with a lot of sensible implements for weeding and spraying,” explains Žikić. “The purpose is to assist farmers do away with repetitive duties in several settings, from orchards to vineyards.” The ROBS4CROPS options are being examined in several areas. In France, ROBS4CROPS undertaking associate Agreenculture’s Ceol robotic is changing mechanical weeding in Loire Valley vineyards to scale back labour prices and the variety of weeding passes and chemical makes use of per season. It’s tackling the issues of mechanical weed management in vegetable manufacturing. Seasonal spraying of desk grape vineyards entails numerous challenges – a excessive variety of pesticide and fertiliser purposes, excessive labour prices and workforce shortages. Within the Greek pilot, these challenges are being addressed utilizing the Ceol robotic, a retrofitted tractor and an ASM mannequin sprayer from Spanish undertaking associate Teyme. Each the retrofit tractor and Ceol robotic are getting used on the identical sprayer. This may assist ROBS4CROPS researchers evaluate the 2 platforms and draw helpful conclusions about their efficiency within the hilly Greek pilot websites. By automating orchard spraying in Catalonia with the help of a retrofitted tractor utilizing Agreenculture’s sensible field and Teyme’s EOLO mannequin sprayer, ROBS4CROPS goals to scale back chemical use and labour. Within the Netherlands, the undertaking has arrange a pilot in potato crop rotation. Undertaking associate AgroIntelli’s Robotti robotic and a camera-based sensible weeder shall be used to check a number of duties there, together with early seeding, weeding, hilling and harvesting. “Robots can relieve farmers from the burden of day by day duties by lowering them. Having robots within the fields means having a while to give attention to extra precious duties – reminiscent of manufacturing evaluation,” feedback Žikić. The ROBS4CROPS (Robots for safeguarding crops) options can subsequently lead to increased high quality merchandise whereas additionally guaranteeing a smaller carbon footprint and fewer publicity to dangerous chemical substances.

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