Agri-Food is one of the largest manufacturing sectors, and is vital for the global population. However, the food chain is under pressure from population growth, climate change, population drift and the demographics of an ageing population. Current agricultural practices are also harming the natural environment, with many species of wildlife facing risk of extinction over the next decade.
Addressing these challenges requires a new generation of highly skilled researchers and leaders in robotics and autonomous systems with interdisciplinary expertise. This project gives students the opportunity to apply and develop technologies which can aid agri-food systems to create more sustainable and scalable solutions.
Multidisciplinary teams of 3-5 Masters students will be invited to develop and pitch a proposal for developing a robotics system to aid the AgriFood systems. Teams must be interdisciplinary, and have the breadth required for their particular project, this involves requiring students to be from different Master’s course specializations (e.g. Mechanics, Robotics, etc.). The top proposals will be reviewed in terms of feasibility and innovation by academic and industry experts, and the top teams will then be selected to
take part in the Focus Project which runs through two semesters in
the period of 2022 as a semester project each term. Throughout the two semesters the teams will work on developing a proof-of- concept demonstration of their approach, a feasibility study, and (where applicable) a plan to disseminate their work. At the end of the project the teams will then pitch and demo their solution at event to both academic and industry members providing success teams the opportunity to investigate the feasibility to taking their ideas further.
Teams have the option of using an existing robot platform (kindly supplied by an industry parternet EcoRobotix), will be given a small amount of funding, academic and technical mentors (PostDoc/PhD Students), access to Agri-Food experts (e.g. Agroscope) and access to testing facilities. The teams will be assessed in both semesters through presentation and report as required for Semester projects.