Agri-food robotics: state of the art and future challenges

  • Date and time: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 14:00-15:30
  • Venue: Edinburgh International Conference Centre
  • More info on the European Robotic Forum (ERF)
  • Don’t forget to register for the ERF!


The agri-food industry faces difficult challenges. On the one hand, the world population is ever increasing, expecting to reach 9-10 billion people by 2050. This means a large increase in the need for food, feed, fuel and fibres. On the other hand, already now, there is a global growing scarcity of water, fossil fuel, and fertilizers. Moreover, the impact of the industry on the environment is enormous in terms of greenhouse gasses, waste, chemicals and diseases. To deal with these challenges, there is a need for new technologies, to produce more with less resources. Increasing the level of automation and robotisation of the industry – agri-food robotics – is one of the possible solutions. In pre-harvest, precision agriculture can help to reduce the amount of fertilizer and pesticides, potentially even to zero with robotic mechanical weeding and crop maintenance. Sensor systems can give accurate and localized information about the crop that can optimize farm management. Harvesting can be optimized using robotic systems. And in post-harvest, the quality of food can be accurately determined and food can be sorted and packed using robots.

In this workshop, we want to introduce applications in agri-food to the broad robotic field. We will discuss the technological challenges, shows current solutions and discussing future directions. Apart from raising awareness, we want to connect researchers and stakeholders and discuss future solutions and collaborations.