Agriculture is facing enormous challenges. In order to ensure resource-compatible food production, the use of pesticides and fertilizers must be reduced and resource protection improved; at the same time, the availability of personnel is a major problem. Agricultural robotics, as part of precision farming, can make an important contribution in the transition to high-yield and sustainable agricultural production, while strengthening the position of small farms.
To date, few agricultural robots have found their way into commercial practice. The development of agricultural robotic solutions for various fields of application entails overarching technical problems. In this context, the link between agricultural robotics and new methods of deep learning can significantly increase the precision and capabilities of the systems. The network of initially 9 companies and 2 research institutions is dedicated to the development of intelligent robotic systems for Agriculture 4.0, enabling the exchange of know-how from different R&D areas and accelerating the availability of products on the market. R&D lines include robot swarms, human-technology interaction, innovative sensor technology for collision avoidance, and drone-based approaches.
The network also aims to increase the visibility of partners in an agricultural technology landscape dominated by "big players." The synergistic relationships between the partners will also be leveraged in the subsequent commercialization of the collaboratively developed products.