Bavarian state research centre for Agriculture (LfL)
Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Animal Husbandry (ILT)
In accordance with its agricultural and public-welfare mandate, the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL) focuses on current and future problems of land use and nutrition in Bavaria, including quality management and production. The main activity is problem-oriented and applied research.
The Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Animal Husbandry (ILT) develops, tests and evaluates sustainable technologies for plant production and animal husbandry (machines, equipment, farm buildings and processes) as well as environmental related technologies for biogas production and emission protection. Furthermore ILT designs and builds measurement and control systems for applied research applications.
The working groups of ILT have high-level technical know-how in agricultural production techniques (plant production and animal husbandry), mechanisation, farm buildings, precision agriculture, precision livestock farming, waste management and environmental technology. The LfL and ILT have a broad and worldwide contact network including agricultural science units from several universities.
The LfL/ILT will coordinate the i-LEED project. The LfL/ILT will also lead WP1, WP2 and WP5. In WP2 the LfL/ILT will be responsible for the technical specifications of the sensors and actuators (design, optimization and manufacturing) and their assembling to the robotic platforms. Demonstration and validation including the final tests by end-users will be carried out at the teaching, research and demonstration centers of the LfL.
Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies pour l'environnement et l'agriculture
Irstea is the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture. In the framework of its research field "Ecotechnologies", the team "TEAM" of the research unit "Technologies and information systems for agricultural systems (TSCF)" conducts scientific research on autonomous mobile robots in natural environments. This team, composed of a dozen of scientists, is involved in several major national research projects, supported by the National Agency of Research (ANR), as for example the FAST project (2008-2012) on the control of fast off-road mobile robots, which continues with the Baudet-Rob project (2012-2014) on the development of operating robots for both civil and military applications. The team is also involved in the SafePlatoon project (2011-2014) on the cooperation of several robots in open environments, and coordinates the ActisurTT project (2011-2014) on the developement of active security systems for off-road vehicles. These projects mobilize directly industrial partners.
The team conducts this work in close cooperation with the Pascal Institut (joint research unit between the National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) and Blaise Pascal University) in the framework of the Excellence Laboratory "ImobS3" (Innovative Mobility - Smart and sustainable Solutions) which focuses on intelligent machines and vehicles, and of the "Robotex" project, national network of excellence robotic platforms supported by the CNRS. The team also participates through its leader to the coordination of the PPP action (Private Public Partnerships), in the framework of the Eranet-ICT-AGRI.
The scientific team involved in off-road robotic applications from Irstea (ex-Cemagref Clermont-Ferrand) will contribute to the specification definitions of the pasture robot (WP2). Mobility abilities of the robotic platform in harsh conditions (slope terrains, holes, grip and sliding limitations…) will receive a particular attention in order to reach high performances in real rough pasture fields. In charge of the WP3 leadership, Irstea will develop specific anticipative motion control algorithms preserving the robot dynamic stability with respect to the roll-over risk on natural ground (Task3.3). Irstea will be also active to safety legal aspects advancement about robot uses (Task2.5).
The Agricultural Machinery Department was established in 1971 and is made up of three sections, namely Agricultural Machinery, Energy in Agriculture and Agricultural Tractor. There are 9 Professors, 3 Associate Professors, 2 Assistan Professors, and 6 Research Assistants making a total of 25 academics in the Department.
The Department comprises; An Electrics and Electronics Lab. and workshop, a Mechanical Technology workshop, a Tractor Repair workshop, a Museum of Agricultural Machinery, a Trailer Test Track, a Soil Bin, one Farm Machinery Test and Research Lab., one Water Pumps Test Lab., and one Materials Test lab.
One of the research topic which the department focuses on is development and implementation of sensor, control and application technologies for the precision treatment of individuals.
The main goal of the department is to educate and train experts in the fields of design construction research and development, repair and maintenance, selection and use of agricultural machinery.
The main fields of study are; Information Technology in Agriculture, Livestock Mechanization, Soil Tillage, Drilling and Fertilizing Machines, Planning and System Analysis in Agricultural Mechanization, Properties of Materials, Irrigation and Harvesting Machinery and Management of Agricultural Machinery. In 2000, ICT was included into main fields of study.
The Department is in cooperation with some of the Universities in Europe such as Germany, England, and Bulgaria, Croatia, and in USA such as Michigan State and Auburn and in Middle East such as Israel.
EGE will work on the WP2, WP3 and WP4. In WP2 EGE will support the sensors and actuators selection (design, optimization and manufacturing) and their assembling to the robotic platforms. EGE will be responsible for the development of the algorithms for detection of biomass, cowpats, areas without vegetation, etc. and will work on the safety and security equipment for all robots. EGE will be also involved into the data acquisition and development of the decision making algorithms inside the HMS.
Dr. Arif Behiç Tekin will be responsible for the selection of the sensors and system elements besides assembling robotic platform. Moreover, he will deal with data acquisition to feed the Herd Management System, development of algorithms for detection of phenomenon on the field. He will also be involved on safety and security issue of robotic platforms.
Dr. Mehmet Evronosoglu will be involved in field tests to collect data for generating the algorithms.
Effidence develops software for autonomous decision-making machinery. These autonomous systems can detect and respond to external events and control mechanisms in real time. The challenge in the design of autonomous systems is to provide real-time operation - even in the presence of numerous sensors and limited computing power - and reliable - limiting the number of false alarms and indeterminate behavior. The cognitive technology of Effidence brings an innovative response to these issues:
- Auto-configuration of the system context of use for optimal performance,
- Self-diagnostic system to ensure the reliability of its result,
- Self-efficacy: the selection of the most appropriate sensor or algorithm to the predicted situation.
To address the agricultural market, Effidence needs to couple its AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) technology with business functionality: ie it is not enough that the robot moves automatically, it also needs to realize, on top of that, a useful task. i-LEED project opens for Effidence new perspectives permitting to sell AGV products for end-users (i.e. farmers).
Founded in 2009, Effidence is a Young Innovative Company based in Clermont-Ferrand, a spin-off of CNRS-LASMEA and Cemagref laboratories located in Clermont-Ferrand. Effidence was born from the will of five scientists. After working on the design and development of optoelectronic modules for autonomous driving of intelligent vehicle, they decided to create a company about robotics and video surveillance.
Effidence will develop the computer system on board of the vehicle. It will ensure the functionality of automatic guidance of the robot in the pasture by defining trajectories, avoiding collision and controlling the robot. It will also communicate with the payload to trigger the functions made by other partners: estimation of the biomass, cowpats detection, mulching, sowing, etc. Finally, this software will be integrated into the herd management system (HMS) to receive its mission: field scouting or active field mode.
Data Service Paretz GmbH
Data Service Paretz GmbH (DSP) is a German computer retailer, specialised on agricultural applications, with more than 20 years of experience in the development of software for herd management, advisory service and veterinarians. DSP currently has 21 staff including 11 graduates.
The company is a leading producer of practical and straightforward high quality agricultural software in Germany and administrate the internet based portal Kompetenzzentrum Rind (centre of excellence for dairy farming). The complete range of highly functional and integrated programs includes software for information and communication technology, arable farming and focuses on software for cattle farming and health management in dairy farms. Products are among others software for herd management (Herde), integrated veterinary herd health care (ITB), ration calculations (Futter-R) and financial accounting system (Hannibal). In the field of dairy herd management solutions DSP has reached a marked-leading position in Germany. About 80 % of dairy herds in eastern Germany are managed by online services provided by DSP. The customers include farmers, veterinarians, hoof trimmers, advisory services and breeding associations. The company currently has five thousand commercial users.
The core competence of DSP is the development of user oriented knowledge-based software solutions for farmers, advisors and veterinarians. By providing clearly structured concepts and modular programming the software development via an iterative process achieves a high level of performance.
Data Service Paretz GmbH (DSP) will develop a tool for the HMS ‘Herde’ including: data acquisition about biomass from the pasture robot for feed ration planning; determination of the feed requirements and calculation of the necessary pasture area; continuous comparison of the biomass data with the data from the HMS concerning the growth rate and milk production; data transfer to the milking and feeding technique as well as to the automatic grazing system.