The 52 partners from 15 European countries are addressing seven target applications in the project: Greenhouse, Vertical Farming, Wine and Forestry, Agricultural Robotics, Nutrient Content and Fertilizer Use in Soils, and Water Analytics. For the aforementioned application areas, the project partners want to develop technological solutions that support farmers in their crop management. The focus is equally on increased productivity and environmentally friendly methods. The combination of sensor solutions and modern communications technology as well as data analyses will enable partially automated farming and provide farmers with concrete recommendations for action.
The Fraunhofer EMFT research team is working on the development of an agricultural robot as part of the project. This is to drive automatically over the fields and determine the condition of crops in order to be able to precisely apply the necessary care measures. Using an electronic nose, the robot will detect volatile gases that plants emit when under stress. In order to effectively guide the emissions from the plants to the sensors in the robot nose, the researchers develop a continuous gas sampling comprised of a piezoelectrically driven micro diaphragm pump. It will be integrated to a sensing device to form a miniaturized VOC sensing platform. Furthermore, the team intends to explore smart micropump control strategies to perform pressure and volume-controlled sampling.