Confagricoltura Piemonte

Confagricoltura Piemonte is following with interest and collaborating with the University of Turin in the realization of the Horizon BACCHUS Project - Mobile Robotic Platforms for Active Inspection and Harvesting in Vineyard Areas .

In an online meeting that took place on Wednesday 11 November, a qualified group of producers and winemakers from Confagricoltura Piemonte discussed, under the guidance of professors Remigio Berruto and Mario Tamagnone del Disafa - Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences of the University of Turin , on the prospects for the incorporation of robotics in grape production, which could potentially significantly improve the working conditions of entrepreneurs and agricultural workers; intelligent systems, in fact, are becoming the solution to direct production towards precision agriculture.

" The georeferencing of the vineyards - declares Ercole Zuccaro, director of Confagricoltura Piemonte - with the possibility of carrying out agrometeorological and also visual inspections on the health status of the crops and intelligent and therefore not only mechanized, automated and selective harvesting, in particular, can already, in some respects, to provide a significant improvement to the harvested product ".

The project aims to improve the performance of robots to contain the spread of diseases with fewer treatments, control the development of fungi with UV rays on the row (in collaboration with the Norwegian company Sagarobotics), mechanically control the weeds on the row , thin out the moldy bunches, select and thin out the bunches during the harvest, taking only the product with a certain degree of ripeness and health.

" However, to achieve this type of automation, significant progress is needed in the cognitive and mechatronic capabilities of robots. The BACCHUS intelligent mobile robotic system - explains Professor Remigio Berruto of the University of Turin - also sets itself the goal of reproduce the harvesting operations by hand, operating autonomously in four different levels: perform robotic navigation with guaranteed quality of performance in order to inspect the crops and collect data from the agricultural area through a ripening analysis system; perform bi-manual harvesting with the necessary "finesse", using a modular robotic platform; adapting the robot gripper to the geometry of the different crops; presenting advanced cognitive and decision - making abilities ".

The envisaged system will be demonstrated and evaluated in the vineyard environment by inspecting different types of vines and harvesting grapes of different varieties.

Confagricoltura is working with the University of Turin to present and evaluate the application in Piedmont, as early as next year.