The GRAPE project (Ground Robot for vineyArd monitoring and ProtEction) aims to develop technology that is cost-effective and respects traditional agricultural practices.
The project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program and will target reducing the environmental impact of traditional of chemicals; developing a robotic platform for vineyard applications; contributing to the technical advancement of precision agriculture; improving robot acceptance by farmers and agronomists; improving vineyard navigation; enhancing perception for plant health monitoring; developing the manipulation and distribution of biocontrol mechanisms and creating a robot interface for operations.
What’s at stake is continuing to grow enough while diminishing the effects of the over-application of chemicals in farming. The project focuses on tools that will semi-automate many agricultural tasks such as using robots to apply chemicals with extreme precision meaning that pesticides will be used in much smaller quantities, green pruning, mechanical thinning, biological control etc. Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) will also be part of this strategy.