Project Newsletter #16

October 2021

Selected agROBOfood Open Call #2 Innovation Experiments

ZEROTOXVINE

Zerotoxvine is a 100%  non-chemical robotic solution to eliminate weeds and pests in vineyards. By monitoring crops and using artificial intelligence (AI) the targeted harmful species are identified, positioned and, selected for removal. The elimination is done by directing electromagnetic microwaves to the targeted areas of  5x5  cm in the field. This smart robot avoids toxics in the food chain and pollution in the soil, water and environment, helping farmers to save water and costs. Zerotoxvine effectiveness reaches 75% while present chemical-based crop protection achieves only 25-30%. Moreover, Zerotoxvine has a positive social and environmental impact, improving people’s health and preserving natural ecosystems. This solution saves 10 kg per hectare and year of herbicides/pesticides, also, it saves 1 kg of plastic container per year, does not pollute the air, soil or aquifers, saves up to 5,000 liters of water per hectare per year and offers cost-saving to vineyards' owners up to € 2,400 per hectare per year.

  • Coordinator and Technology Partner: Green Killer Weeds S.L. (Spain)
  • Technology Partner: LLC Twist Robotics (Ukraine)
  • End-users: the vineyards Terra  Winnica  Smaku (Poland) and Jidvei (Romania)
  • DIH: EURECAT (Spain)
  • Budget: 497.088€

CROVER

The project aims to use the CROVER, the world’s first ‘underground drone’, to autonomously scan and sample grains in bulk storage (e.g. in grain bins and sheds), in order to provide early detection of potential spoilage allowing grain storage operators to reduce losses and maintain quality while improving the health and safety of grain storage operators, who will no longer require to physically ‘walk’ on dangerous grain bulks. We want to make sure that every grain that enters a silo or shed exits it with the same quality, and in doing so significantly reduce the incidence of agricultural confined space injuries, in grain storage facilities, by removing, as much as possible, the main causes of such accidents: the presence of workers in the vicinity, or on the surface of the grains.

  • Coordinator and Technology Partner: Crover Ltd (Scotland)
  • End-users: Neoruralehub s.r.l. (Italy), Istituto Cooperativo di Ricerca (Italy)
  • DIH: Agri-EPI Centre (the UK)
  • Budget: 495.280€

Oenobotics

Oenobotics will provide viticulture farmers with innovative and affordable precision viticulture services. The services rely on the Oenobotics droned platform and consist of: (a) Disease and water-stress diagnostics, (b) Precise spot-spraying for treatment of downy mildew, (c) Powdery mildew and grey mould/botrytis enabled by machine vision and, (d) Wireless drone charging via a smart charging dock. Oenobotics services will be delivered to customers, such as vineyard farmers or associations,  via a  hardware-as-a-service business model, supporting them to avoid significant initial investment costs. The Oenobotics hardware and software will also be available to drone companies and interested farmers as an off-the-shelf product.  The solution addresses the needs of wine-producing vineyards located in hilly sloppy elevated locations that are hard to reach with any machinery. The  Oenobotics services will assist vineyard owners in avoiding health impacts of chemicals and heat on vineyard workers, to react much faster to extreme weather changes caused by climate change, and to be more sustainable and profitable by producing a yield of better quality, using fewer pesticides  (in case of conventional farming)  and producing less CO2 emissions   (in case of organic farming).

  • Coordinator and Technology Partner: Hellenic Drones (Greece)
  • Technology Partner: Information & Communication Technologies Laboratory S.R.L. (Romania), Future Needs Management Consulting Ltd (Cyprus)
  • End-user: vineyards “Kontogiannis Family” (Greece)
  • DIH: Green Supply Chain Digital Innovation Hub (Greece), Agricultural University of Athens (Greece)
  • Budget: 500.000€

FullPheno

FullPheno enhances, robotizes, demonstrates and disseminates machine intelligence for high-resolution, full canopy observation in phenotyping and monitoring, to be licensed as an interoperable software (SW) component for customers in crop R&D and robotics companies. FullPheno is a co-development project which: (a) speeds up the adoption of field robots by providing an interoperable, powerful machine vision component for full canopy phenotyping and monitoring to be integrated with any field robot platform, (b) develops the necessary robotic components for varying levels of automation of full canopy phenotyping, (c) demonstrates the value of full-canopy observation in current industrial processes and the paradigm shift enabled by robotic technologies and d) disseminates and commercializes the results.

  • Coordinator: Yield Systems Oy (Finland)
  • Technology Partners: Probot Oy (Finland)
  • End-users: Ackermann Saatzucht GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), Apsovsementi S.P.A (Italy)
  • DIH: LUKE Digilnno Services (Finland) and Danish Technological Institute (Denmark)
  • Budget: 499.750€

MIRAGE

MIRAGE aims to automate and optimize irrigation of industrial crop fields such as potatoes, carrots, or beans. This is a solution for farmers who cannot acquire expensive drip irrigation systems and cannot keep using water-efficiency-unoptimized reel machines. Robot OSCAR can: (a) automate the irrigation process to free the farmer from this back-breaking manual work, (b) allow deployment  of  sensors,  such  as ground-penetrating radar  (GPR)  for  real-time soil moisture determination to pilot irrigation and make it more sustainable, (c) offer a solution to irrigate daily on a per-plant basis with excellent efficiency using water and other resources with a cost close to the current one with reel machines, and (d) allow deployment of new technologies and methodologies to grow the crop (UV treatment, for example). The solution will be tested by the consortium of three complementary companies directly with farmers in the north of France, an exciting area producing two-thirds of French potatoes. This innovation will reduce farmers’ use of water and, consequently, the energy used to pump. Moreover, it will indirectly reduce the spread of chemicals, given that most of them are washed off with water. It can also expand the use of fertirrigation, reducing fertilizers use. Farmers will be able to grow crops efficiently and will reduce their costs or at least stabilize them.

  • Coordinator: OSIRIS Agriculture (France)
  • Technology Partner: Sensar Consulting (Belgium)
  • End-user: GITEP 80, Association of Potato Farmers (France)
  • DIH: CEA (France)
  • Budget: 375.000€
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