The latest Agri-tech on display at Robot Highways showcase
A glimpse into the future of fruit picking, where robots will assist growers in carrying out essential tasks, has been successfully showcased to industry. The Robot Highways project, funded by Innovate UK, focusses on robots carrying out labour intensive work such as picking, packing and treating produce, all powered by renewable energy. The project is led […]
A glimpse into the future of fruit picking, where robots will assist growers in carrying out essential tasks, has been successfully showcased to industry.
The Robot Highways project, funded by Innovate UK, focusses on robots carrying out labour intensive work such as picking, packing and treating produce, all powered by renewable energy.
The project is led by Saga Robotics, alongside partners University of Lincoln, Berry Gardens Growers Ltd, BT, Clock House Farm, University of Reading, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Over the past three years, Clock House Farm has been utilising the Thorvald Platform to carry out various tasks involved in strawberry production, such as UVC treatment. Robot Highways also demonstrated other tools and tasks including runner cutting, the distribution of predatory mites, data collection, crop forecasting, and strawberry harvesting.
Professor Marc Hanheide, Principal Investigator at the University of Lincoln, said: “The Robot Highways showcase event provided us with an excellent opportunity to trial our innovative technologies in a real, commercial setting.
“Our focus was the coordination of multiple robots delivering different tasks that have the potential to revolutionise the production of strawberries. Robots autonomously and reliably transported picked fruit to a dedicated collection point, and routinely counted the ripe and unripe fruit to inform forecasting models.
“To date, this is the largest robot demonstration of integrated robotic services in a soft fruit farm environment. It represents a major milestone on the road to automating soft-fruit production.”
Professor Simon Pearson, Head of the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology at the University of Lincoln, added: “This event enabled us to showcase our expertise across various areas of agri-food technology and also speak to industry directly about their needs, ensuring our research is aligned with real-world requirements.
“By working with industry partners, our academics have been able to develop a comprehensive range of ground-breaking solutions.”
Chris Danks, innovation lead – Transforming Food Production, Innovate UK, said, “The Robot Highways project is one of the most interesting and exciting projects we have funded. Our aim is to support ambitious projects to transform productivity and enhance environmental sustainability in UK’s agricultural and horticultural sectors, whilst driving the sectors towards net zero.
“The event showcased the largest known UK demonstration of robotics and autonomous technologies on a farm, accelerating the development and adoption of precision approaches to increase agricultural productivity.”
The project will be presented at the Fresh Produce Consortium Futures event held at the Peterborough Showground on Thursday 16 March. To book your place, visit https://www.fpcfuture.co.uk/future
For more information, please visit https://www.robothighways.co.uk