Robohub.org
 

When a professor meets a farmer

by
19 January 2023



share this:

Robot developments and the study of social processes can happen side-by-side in RoboHouse. Because we feel that technology should learn to look beyond its own horizons, if we aim to make the workplace more attractive. Why are people leaving the jobs they used to love? What’s going on in crucial sectors like healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing?

To explore these questions, we go into the field with scientists and innovators. Under the banner of FRAIM, our new transdisciplinary research centre dedicated to the future of work. What do robot specialists notice when they travel to places where people and robots work together?

Our latest instalment of FRAIM in the Field follows Maria Luce Lupetti as she meets with Henk Verdegaal on a grey November day. Last August Verdegaal, flower bulb farmer in the Netherlands, finally saw what an agricultural robot could do on his lands. The Agbot by developer AgXeed was humming along, managed by a “smart and ready to use autonomy system with a full suite of vehicle peripherals.”

As the Agbot demonstration progressed, flower bulb farmer Henk Verdegaal became more and more convinced of the potential of this particular way of implementing robotics: “I feel this could be deployed for all things related to light ground work. The only issue is: can the system run for enough hours to make it worthwhile financially. That seems hard at the moment.”

Henk Verdegaal experiments with smart technology to reduce his use of pesticides. He expects that systems like Agbot can also reduce his reliance on labour and liberate him from field work, so that he can focus on more important processes. Drones however, have so far failed to impress Verdegaal. Connectivity issues caused the drone to lose its way and communicate poorly with the camera.

Assistant professor Maria Luce Lupetti, specialised in critical design for AI systems at TU Delft, arrives at a sobering insight during FRAIM in the Field: “In a place like a farm there are clear problems like not finding people to drive the truck. So it automatically makes you think: ‘OK, you make it autonomous. You have a clear need for that, the technology is there.’ But there are reasons why people have a hard time finding workers. These problems are systemic. There are financial issues, there are sustainability issues. There is a pressing housing crisis that makes the price of the land rise. A lot of different forces are coming together to influence the work of people on a farm.”

Watch the rest of the series here, or on our youtube channel.


The post When a professor meets a farmer appeared first on RoboHouse.



tags:


Joost van de Loo - Strategist at RoboHouse
Joost van de Loo - Strategist at RoboHouse





Related posts :



Robot Talk Episode 90 – Robotically Augmented People

In this special live recording at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Claire chatted to Milia Helena Hasbani, Benjamin Metcalfe, and Dani Clode about robotic prosthetics and human augmentation.
21 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 89 – Simone Schuerle

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Simone Schuerle from ETH Zürich all about microrobots, medicine and science.
14 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 88 – Lord Ara Darzi

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Lord Ara Darzi from Imperial College London all about robotic surgery - past, present and future.
07 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 87 – Isabelle Ormerod

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Isabelle Ormerod from the University of Bristol all about human-centred design and women in robotics.
31 May 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 86 – Mario Di Castro

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Mario Di Castro from CERN all about robotic inspection and maintenance in hazardous environments.
24 May 2024, by

Congratulations to the #ICRA2024 best paper winners

The winners and finalists in the different categories have been announced.
20 May 2024, by





Robohub is supported by:




Would you like to learn how to tell impactful stories about your robot or AI system?


scicomm
training the next generation of science communicators in robotics & AI


©2024 - Association for the Understanding of Artificial Intelligence


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association