Connecting Robotic Technologies with the Agrifood Sector
Today, the European agri-food industry responds to the modern challenges in food production. Tackling the growing demand for environmentally and economically friendly food production is particularly important due to a sharp decrease in human labour-power and an increase in costs associated with it. Coupled with a growing population and preference for quality food, the situation requires modern solutions. For instance, the amount of dairy collected in the EU increases by approximately 1000 tonnes each year, retaining a steady growth since 2016. Moreover, EU protein crop production is growing at a yearly rate of 4% and is expected to increase in the following years at a rate faster than projected area expansion (EC, 2021). Increasing production needs paired with the decline in the labour force means that the workforce must be re-engineered to fit the modern citizen needs.
agROBOfood and European agri-food robotics
agROBOfood is an EU funded project aiming to build a European ecosystem for the effective adoption of robotic technologies in the agri-food sector, which in turn will become more efficient and competitive. The heart of the project is formed by Innovation Experiments, organized and monitored by Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). The project presents numerous solutions and opportunities to ease the issues at hand by offering smart solutions for the agri-food industry. During the three day European Robotics Forum (ERF) conference, the project presented innovative solutions to food processing, automating and speeding up food production through robotic applications.