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Engage with...Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology

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Engage with...Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology

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The University of Lincoln is one of the UK leading developers of agri-robotic technologies. The Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology specialises in robotic systems to support autonomous crop harvesting and electrification of farming. These are technologies which are of crucial and urgent importance post-COVID-19.

The sector needs robotic systems to reduce reliance on manual labour. In addition, farming has a high dependency on off-road and typically diesel-powered vehicles. The sector needs to transition to electric powered vehicles; this may involve a move towards smaller fleets of lightweight electric-powered vehicles or larger machines.

The presentation by Prof Simon Pearson highlighted opportunities for the UK manufacturing sector to engage in this transformation of the food production system.

The University of Lincoln is one of the UK leading developers of agri-robotic technologies. The Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology specialises in robotic systems to support autonomous crop harvesting and electrification of farming. These are technologies which are of crucial and urgent importance post-COVID-19.

The sector needs robotic systems to reduce reliance on manual labour. In addition, farming has a high dependency on off-road and typically diesel-powered vehicles. The sector needs to transition to electric powered vehicles; this may involve a move towards smaller fleets of lightweight electric-powered vehicles or larger machines.

The presentation by Prof Simon Pearson highlighted opportunities for the UK manufacturing sector to engage in this transformation of the food production system.

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Engage with...Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology

  1. 1. AGRI-ROBOTICS Simon Pearson The University of Lincoln
  2. 2. The Known, Known’s……. Fruit picking 1980…
  3. 3. The Known, Known’s……. cauliflowers
  4. 4. The Known, Unknown’s…. COVID-19 Brexit Food security and cost
  5. 5. How will labour shortages or changes to the labour supply impact your business over the next 12-18 months? Key Messages • Palpable concern from agri-sector over next 3 to 6 months • Seeking all solutions including automation • Anticipation that automation mitigates impact in 12 to 18 months
  6. 6. To achieve accelerated development of technology, what would you need?: Key Messages • Funding. Short term and fast track funding need for innovation development, scale up and on farm support. • Engineers. Innovation sector requires access to larger pools of skilled Engineers. • Evaluation Sites. Tech companies require access to test beds and evaluation sites at growers. • Collaboration. Multiple participants seeking to collaborate with others, within and between sectors (tech and Agri). • Scaling. Challenges to scaling, including access to manufacturers and capital. Expertise on testing and verification requested.
  7. 7. Robotic solutions are key……
  8. 8. The Unknown, Known’s…. • Accelerated Automation program showed UK has multiple high TRL robotic projects. • Urgent need to support industrial design and scaling • Focus on robotics not the “engineering”
  9. 9. Thorvald platform example Off the shelf 500W brushless DC motors 2 x 35Ah 48V Batteries 200kg payload
  10. 10. Unknown, unknowns….. How long will we keep using “conventional” tractors? We need a complete rethink……

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