Below are just a few of the projects currently being researched by the National Centre for Precision Farming at Harper Adams University in collaboration with many industry partners in order to enable farmers around the world to optimise their use of resources and improve their yeilds through the use of technology.
To redesign, fabricate, test and refine machinery for introducing daffodil bulbs into permanent pasture and harvesting the subsequent green growth.
Technologies: Sensors, VR sprayers, actuators
Partners: Harper Adams University, Agroceutical Products Ltd, Aberystwyth University
Automated machines growing the first arable crop remotely, without operators in the driving seats or agronomists on the ground.
Technologies: Sensors, VR sprayers, actuators, autopilot, open source code, RTK, GPS, Lasers
Partners: Harper Adams University, Precision Decisions
Funding: AHDB, Innovate UK
To investigate, develop and evaluate a framework for platooning of closely spaced autonomous vehicles. Comprising a number of heterogeneous vehicles.
Technologies: Laser Ranging, Platooning
Partners: Harper Adams University, Westfield, Cisco, Westfield Sportscars Ltd, Manchester Airport Group plc, Stockport City Council, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, Fusion Processing, Conigital Ltd
Funding: Innovate UK
To demonstrate the feasibility of a mobile robotic system capable of accurate autonomous navigation and environmental sensing for data collection in commercial poultry sheds.
Technologies: Robot automation, Environment Sensing
Partners: Royal Veterinary College, Applied Poultry Ltd, Ross Robotics Ltd
Funding: Innovate UK, BBSRC
To assess the affordability of mechanisation systems along with conservation agriculture for smallholders in Zambia and develop and evaluate economically a novel approach of farm service centre (agrodealer) for support and training of smallholders.
Technologies: GPS, telemetry, electronic records
Partners: Harper Adams University, AGCO Ltd, AGCO (ZAMBIA) LTD, Agrodealers (Zambia), IPOSINET DIGITAL Ltd (Zambia)
Funding: Innovate UK
To utilise the latest technology in automation sensing for navigation and technology in the form of battery, bio composite materials, autonomous control and light weighting structures.
Partners: Harper Adams University, Westfield Autonomous Vehicles
Funding: Niche Vehicle Network