RoboCrops is the world's very first event linking robotics and greenhouse horticulture. It will be organised on 23 and 24 April in The Netherlands at World Horti Center and RoboHouse. Growers, technology companies, universities and investors will be challenged to the limit. Goal: developing new horti applications using sensors, robotic arms, autonomous vehicles, AI and data. Harvesting crops is a very delicate and complex task, automating the process is not that easy. Registrations don’t only come from Europe, but also from Japan, Canada and Israel. RoboCrop provides a solution for the worldwide need to find each other and to achieve breakthroughs together.
Harvesting technology to feed the world
Even before the program is final, Lely, Panasonic, Rijk Zwaan and renowned professors confirmed their arrival. The fact that they and companies such as KINOVA and Ecoation are willing to travel from Canada to the Netherlands proves that the subject is considered to be important and urgent. The growing world population, climate change and a growing demand for safe and healthy food are global issues. It is clear that there are opportunities here for robotics.
That the very first crossover between robotics and horticulture is taking place in West-Holland is not surprising. Greenport West-Holland is the world’s most innovative region in the field of greenhouse horticulture. Because of the variety of industries in the region, there is a strong hightech community, also stimulated by several universities and knowledge institutions. Only by working together will it be possible to develop and scale up practical solutions.
You want to join RoboCrops?
More information is available on the website. You can register here.
Autonomous harvesting: to pick or not to pick?
In order for a robot to autonomously harvest crops, it must combine sense (where is the tomato?), think (to pick or not to pick?), and act (pick and place in a container). Although good progress has been made in the development of harvesting robots in general, they are still not widely used in our greenhouses. Delicate crops, such as tomatoes, peppers and strawberries, are particularly problematic. By bringing together international growers and technology companies and challenging students to develop solutions, RoboCrops hopes to set a global acceleration in motion.
23 April: robotic developments and hackathon
On 23 April growers and other attendees will be informed about the latest developments in robotics for greenhouse horticulture. The chairman of the day will be Peter Jens, Director Strategic Alliances at Koppert. He deals with agricultural, food and nutrition issues all over the world and promotes cooperation between farmers, cooperatives and research institutes. Keynotes include André van Troost, CEO at Lely, the internationally operating number one manufacturer of robots and data systems for dairy farming. Josse de Baerdemaeker is also on stage. He is Professor of Mechatronics, Biostatistics and Sensors at KU Leuven and is recognised worldwide as the founder of the basic principles in precision agriculture.
In addition to the day programme in World Horti Center, students from Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University will start that day on a hackathon in the RoboHouse fieldlab in Delft. This hackathon can be followed in the evening via livestream during the network dinner in World Horti Center.
24 April: technical challenges and hackathon
On April 24, technology companies, universities and other interested parties can explore the technical possibilities and challenges for robotics in horticulture in World Horti Center together. Chairman of the day is Jim Stolze, who started Aigency, a company that provides solutions in the field of artificial intelligence. Vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan will be on the programme that day and Jaimy Siebel, Managing Director at RoboValley and RoboHouse, will also provide a keynote. At the end of the day the students, who’ll pull an all-nighter for their challenge in fieldlab RoboHouse, pitch their hacks in the World Horti Center. On both days there will of be plenty of opportunities for matchmaking.
Would you like to participate in this unique event as well?
The organization of the event is currently still in full swing. You can find more information on the RoboCrops website. If you want to join us, you can register here. There is still a limited number of places available for participants, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers. In the upcoming weeks a series of vlogs about robotics in greenhouse horticulture can be followed on this YouTube channel.