AgROBOfood: Towards a EU network of robotics tech

11-07-2019    03:30   |    Wageningen University & Research

WUR has been assigned to manage a €16 million innovation action project. Agro Food Robotics Programme Leader, Janneke de Kramer from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) will take on the management of a large, new innovation action project about how robotics can be used to increase the productivity of Agro Food. This was announced by the EU.

AgROBOfood will work closely with the broader European robotics community, ensuring synergetic effects with initiatives such as EU-Robotics. This will maximize the return of European investments, including private capital, in the digital transformation of agri food. The agROBOfood network already consists of 49 digital innovation hubs and 12 competence centers and will grow during the project. The project consortium fuelling this growth has 38 partners, led by Wageningen University & Research.

Janneke de Kramer, coordinator of agROBOfood: "Now the agROBOfood project has started, it is possible for companies throughout Europe to be supported in Agro Food Robotics innovation and business. Through the network of digital innovation hubs, borders can be crossed and European strengths combined. agROBOfood will demonstrate and accelerate new robotics technology to make the European agri food sector more efficient and competitive."


The heart of the project is formed by Innovation Experiments, organized and monitored by Digital Innovation Hubs. In 7 Regional Clusters, initial experiments will demonstrate robotics innovations in agri food in a manner that ensures replicability and wide adoption across Europe. 


To protect people from working in subzero temperatures, in the agROBOfood project a demonstrator robot will be built, a mixed palletiser, to work in a freezer room. Another example will be to harvest fruit automatically, on time and with less manpower. This results in lower production and resource costs, whilst solving the labour shortage problem. Furthermore a demonstrator for cucumbers will be built which can judge the maturity and pick & handle fruits in a greenhouse. Also, we will show a drone monitoring vineyards by drone. Many more examples will be shown, both by the consortium and by companies who can apply for funding in the open calls. The Digital Innovation Hubs and connected experts will support these innovation experiments.

Click here for more information about the AgROBOfood project.

Photo credit: WUR

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