Project Newsletter #23

May 2022

Henri DESESQUELLES

CEO of OSIRIS Agriculture

agROBOfood-funded MIRAGE Consortium coordinator
henri@osiris-agriculture.fr

What is your team primary purpose?

Our 1-year-old company aims to help farmers succeed their agroecological transition towards more sustainability by developing the smart and autonomous machines they need. Our 1st use case is to optimize and automate irrigation of industrial crop fields and in particular of potato fields. Our team of 3 sons of farmers is dedicated to decrease the amount of back-breaking manual work and the consumption of water, energy, fertilizers, and chemicals needed. Tackling these 2 issues is an answer to the lack of skilled labor and the mandatory transition farmers are facing. 10 million of hectares were irrigated in Europe in 2016. Irrigation is a real insurance against climate change that guarantees yield and quality as well as survival of an entire industry based on agricultural production. The current drought in Europe highlights the importance of irrigation.

Knowing that producers consume an important amount of water to irrigate – amount that increases globally year-to-year – and spend numerous hours moving their irrigation machines around field with low water efficiency, our team is developing the first robot-as-a-service for industrial crops with a particular focus on a better irrigation. Based on a patented robot, our product increases irrigation water efficiency by 30% compared to hose reel sprinkler irrigation machine and is as efficient as drip-irrigation system with more flexibility of use, no manual work needed and more potential for add-ins.

Thanks to our agROBOfood-funded MIRAGE Consortium with Sensar Consulting and the GITEP, we are developing the prototype of a smart tool based on our robot and the sensor developed by Sensar to adjust water doses on-the-fly and we will test it in real field conditions.

What are the specificities of your project?

Robots offer great services to farmer to automate and optimize repetitive, manual, low-value tasks but robots are usually high-tech and expensive. Focusing on these elements, the robustness of our machine is at the heart of our design, relying on suppliers and partners used to create special machines for outdoor use.

We also aim to develop or incorporate hardware and software add-ins on our robotic platform to offer the best service to farmers and decrease the fixed costs linked. Our team cooperates with other companies to incorporate their innovative solutions on irrigation, fertilization, protection against weeds, pests, and diseases. If you have one and you’re looking for a robotic platform, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Considering the business model, we strongly believe that robot-as-a-service is the best way to distribute such products and we are studying different channels to do so. An all-inclusive service for farmers ensures them to get the best value for money. For us, it is a great opportunity to increase our revenue as well as the impact of our robots on the planet and the perceived value for farmers.

Pitch your robot…find your investor

The ‘Pitch your robot…find your investor’ event was a great opportunity to discover amazing project. It was nice to hear the presentation of E-Nano Ltd, Honey.AI, MiFood Robot, GREEN KILLER WEEDS, etc. 

Our discussion with investors during the Q&A session were also interesting and we are excited to show them further improvements through the summer concerning our project. We are convinced that our robot is what farmers expect considering the numerous positive feedbacks we get from them and their interest in our solution. Our project is well supported by local (Hauts-de-France area), national (BPI) and European networks.

After developing our prototype in 2021, we are finishing the pre-industrialization of an improved version of our robot despite the difficulties of supply. It will be tested in real field this summer.

We aim to raise 1M€ for Q4 2022 to industrialize our robot, to develop new agronomical services (decision-support tool, computer vision, …) and to start our sales efforts to better serve farmers across Europe.

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