AgRob V16 R&D

Agrob R&D focus in developing and researching robotic solutions for agriculture and forestry sector, where is required a higher efficiency for our world self-sustainability. Considering our closer regional reality, we have setup the goal to promote agricultural robotic based projects and develop robots that can operate fully autonomously and safely in steep-slope scenarios, which is a common reality of North of Portugal and in other large number of world regions. This R&D groups explores and develop robots for specific agricultural and forestall tasks such as: monitoring (by ground), spraying, logistics, pruning, and selective harvesting. The successfully execution of these task is largely dependent on the robustness of specific robotic systems, such as: Visual Perception | Navigation (localization, mapping and path planning) | Manipulation and end tools.

Why?

By 2050 the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion, 34 percent higher than today. Nearly all of this population increase will occur in developing countries. Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace, and about 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban (compared to 49 percent today). Income levels will be many multiples of what they are now. In order to feed this larger, more urban and richer population, food production (net of food used for biofuels) must increase by 70 percent. (more)

How?

Robotics/Mechanization is not the complete answer for the two big societal question. However, this kind of technology can act on the environment with higher levels of precision and solve smaller problems like: the lack of workers, reduction of water use in agriculture, food waste and food security , soil compaction, and efficiency on the natural resources usage.
Indeed, robotics and mechanization are already promoting the precision agriculture and at least in some competitive and extensive crops and livestock context, they are bringing clear benefits for society and farmers. (more)

What?

To help to solve two big societal questions: Can Mother Earth Feed 9 Billion of persons by 2050?; Can we produce sufficient food from 0.2 hectare to feed each person? (in 2010, were used 0.5 in average per person).
We need to have more precision agriculture, where Robotics/ Mechanization can: Gather all relevant/type/amount of available information; Apply the right amount at right time and place; Act chirurgical at the right time and place. (more)

 Our Story

Our Story

In 2014, based on the experience of INESC TEC centre for industrial robotics in subjects, like Control, Navigation, Localization, and Perception, this groups has promoted a new line of research in INESCTEC with the name of robotics for agriculture. Drawing on its experience and associating the needs and desires identified by the main Portuguese farmers associations and the European roadmap for agricultural robotics, it has designed a roadmap for the group, which focus on the development and investigation of small, intelligent and versatile machines for application in three contexts: Hillside agriculture (vines), Forests (collection of biomass), and protected crops. In the field of hillside agriculture we designed a second specific roadmap divided into four stages robotization agricultural: monitoring, precision spraying, pruning and selective harvesting. Based on this roadmap, they have been promoting the development of new projects with companies.

Our Team

Robotics, Controls and Sensors Networks experts.
Filipe Neves dos Santos
Filipe Neves dos Santos
Robotics Senior Researcher
Raul Morais dos Santos
Raul Morais dos Santos
Agricultural Intelligent Systems
António Paulo Moreira
António Paulo Moreira
Coordinator of CRIIS centre
Jorge Miguel Mendes
Jorge Miguel Mendes
Research assistant
Luís Carlos Santos
Luís Carlos Santos
Research assistant
Nuno André Ferraz
Nuno André Ferraz
Research assistant
Ricardo Germano Reis
Ricardo Germano Reis
Research assistant

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