Connected, Automatized and Sustainable
Over the past few decades, robotic and AI technologies have evolved to a point where they become applicable to food production systems. These include autonomous field machines such as tractors, harvester, robots, and drones that autonomously perform precise tasks while collecting useful data. In addition, satellites supply new data with continuously improved resolution. Complemented by data from in-situ sensor technologies, plenty of data is now available to optimize the use of resources in agriculture.
Vision: A fully automated cropping system
With Robot Farming, HEF pursues a vision that goes beyond the existing advances in digital and smart farming methods. The goal is to achieve a fully automated arable production system. This system utilizes autonomous field technology, such as robots and drones and combines it with a vast amount of information from sensors, field data files and external data sources. In connection with simulation models of plant growth, the best possible decision can be calculated. The aim is to control the entire crop production process from sowing to harvesting.
Protecting resources through digitalization and robotics
In addition to the impact of labor as the main cost factor in agriculture, we assume positive effects on soil compaction using small, lightweight robots and on the environmental balance of agriculture. This will be achieved through temporal and spatial high-resolution monitoring of the nutrient supply and the health status of crops, which enables a more targeted application of fertilizers and pesticides. Innovative approaches for the use of digital systems and methods are in development to help protect natural resources (water conservation, soil health). Including new technologies in organic farming could help this agricultural concept to become more widespread. This includes modern, sensor-based, and digitally controlled livestock farming with health monitoring and barn robotics.