Next week I’ll be singing au revoir Londres, bonjour Toulouse and agri-robots as I fly to France for the International Forum of Agricultural Robotics, known by its French acronym of FIRA.
While Toulouse has a reputation among tourists and bon vivants for its fine wine and food, the city also boasts its fair share of innovation from companies large and small — many of which are spin-outs from the air and space industry, since both the European Space Agency and the aeronautics giant Airbus have their headquarters in the city.
Ahead of my flight, I’ve been over-preparing by indefatigably watching a silly amount of YouTube videos on agri-robots in anticipation of meeting some of FIRA’s rather more automated attendees. Embedded below are some videos starring many of the agri-robots that’ll be there.
France’s Naïo Technologies will have Oz, Dino and Ted.
The first two agri-robots— Oz and Dino — are 100% electric autonomous robots for the mechanical weeding of vegetable plots. Ted, featured in the video below, is for that classic French symbol of good living — the vineyard.
Switzerland’s ECOROBOTIX will be bringing this spindly-legged autonomous weeding agri-robot.
From Germany, we’ll have Deepfield Robotics, a spin-off of Bosch.
Its autonomous machines like the lunar-spacecraft lookalike BoniRob are aiming to improve conventional and organic weed management.
SONY CSL will be showcasing Robotics for Microfarm (ROMI).
ROMI combines agroecology, robotics and Artificial Intelligence.
From Spain, picking grapes for the Rioja wines of the future, there’ll be VINESCOUT, a Horizon 2020 European research project.
Over to electric self-driving tractors, look out for RHOBAN SYSTEM.
Its autonomous and semi-autonomous electric tractors — “e-Tract” and “Tract-elec” — will be on show.
For the poultry industry, Spain’s Faromatics.
Its ChickenBoy Robot suspends itself like a bat from the ceiling and monitors animal welfare.
Also useful in the poultry world is France’s TIBOT.
Spoutnic helps make hens go to their nest and lay eggs. (We wrote about its recent round of funding here.)
To misquote Hamlet, “something’s robotic in the state of Denmark.”
That would be Agrointelli, which is bringing along its Robotti, an autonomous transport tool for farms.
Another from France is Instar Robotics.
It’s bringing along Trooper, the mobile and autonomous robot for logistics and farming.
Flying in from the US will be Farmwise.
This autonomous mechanical weeding robot’s bright orange colour makes it look like a supporter of the Netherlands, or indeed a fan of the budget airline EasyJet that I’ll be flying into Toulouse with. We wrote about the recent Series A here.
More French connections here again with SITIA.
Its Pumagri robot, a versatile and innovative robotic solution. Chouette!
Another home favourite in the wine industry is VITIBOT.
Its Bakus is a 100% electric robot combined with a multi-purpose platform for tillage, treatments, vine defoliation and trimming.
Still watching all these? If so, come and meet MEROPY.
Its SentiV, the agri-robot designed to monitor plots autonomously. No video for this one, malheureusement — this robot is set to be unveiled at FIRA in Toulouse on day one.
A more familiar (inter) face below now with DUSSAU DISTRIBUTION.
Its Sentinel., which is an automatic mulching robot for breeding.
Finally the odd one out — Odd.bot.
Its ‘Weed Whacker’ robot, a smart & sustainable weeding solution for farmlands. The odd part here is that Farmwise is painted in Dutch colours, but is not Dutch, while Weed Wacker is Dutch, but is painted blue and white instead. Most odd!
Will you be at FIRA and want to talk agri-robots? Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
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