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Thursday, December 09, 2010

10 Million Euro for Harvesting Robots

Artist impression of the concept
Clever Robots for Crops CROPS is a large-scale integrating FP7 EU project in the theme Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies within the call: Automation and robotics for sustainable crop and forestry management. 
CROPS is coordinated by Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR) and will develop scientific know-how for a highly configurable, modular and clever carrier platform that includes modular parallel manipulators and intelligent tools (sensors, algorithms, sprayers, grippers) that can be easily installed onto the carrier and are capable of adapting to new tasks and conditions. Several technological demonstrators will be developed for high value crops like greenhouse vegetables, fruits in orchards, and grapes for premium wines. The CROPS robotic platform will be capable of site-specific spraying (targets spray only towards foliage and selective targets) and selective harvesting of fruit (detects the fruit, determines its ripeness, moves towards the fruit, grasps it and softly detaches it). Another objective of CROPS is to develop techniques for reliable detection and classification of obstacles and other objects to enable successful autonomous navigation and operation in plantations and forests. The agricultural and forestry applications share many research areas, primarily regarding sensing and learning capabilities.
See also Robotics in Agriculture Research Program

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