HydroCobotics: SZTAKI researchers work on automation of environment-friendly plant production procedure

Hydroponics are a sustainable and profitable techniques of plant production that does not use soil but solely water and minerals, to spare available space for plantations and let even more kinds of plants to grow within a quite small area.

The spread of such systems is slowed by the variety of plants, which makes the automation of quality assurance difficult, not to mention the fact that in most cases, packaging standard in retail also require human intervention. To achieve effective automation, such system would require the involvement of robots.

The concern is coordinated by the industry robotics company Hepenix Kft., and the hydroponics focused company Green Drops Farm Kft. is also a member. Within SZTAKI, the project is led by Research Laboratory on Engineering & Management Intelligence research fellow Imre Paniti.

“The goal of this project is to integrate commercially available sensors with a robotic gripper and additional protective equipment, designed for this new application and create, and even validate a safety validation protocol for selected scenarios by applying a mobile robot platform with a cobot arm in a vertically designed Hydroponic System.” – says the official statement.

Results of HydroCobotics may enhance the possibilities of hydroponic systems to make an already environment-friendly and efficient plant production system even more popular. The 9-month long H2020 cascade project kickstarted on the 1st of January, 2021.