ManufacTuring food with robotics and AI

Dr Vishwanathan Mohan (University of Essex) and Paul Laniran (Innovate UK)

Changing demographics (ageing population, labour availability for ‘repetitive, manual’ jobs in the farm), economics (production cost, demand, and imports), environmental sustainability (reducing wastage, pesticide use, Net-Zero) is placing tremendous pressure on the agri-food sector, opening up significant opportunities for innovations in growing methods embedded with cutting edge robotics/AI in the underlying harvesting workflows.

The session will feature invited speaker Paul Laniran (Innovation Lead, Transforming Food Production Programme, Innovate UK) who will present the recent funding schemes for businesses/universities in Agri-food area like the flagship Farming Innovation Pathways programme. Dr Vishuu Mohan will summarize recent research on soft fruit picking, salad crop harvesting, mushroom picking using a range of robots in innovative growing environments. We will also hear from a grower/AI-robotics start up.

This breakout session importantly aims to facilitate interdisciplinary discussion on harnessing the power of cutting edge robotics/AI to solve challenges faced by agri-food sector, facilitate new collaborations/joint projects.

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