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Completed project

Autonomous systems investments (VG15003 and VG15059)

Publication date: Friday, June 28, 2019

What were they all about?

Using the well-known Ladybird and RIPPA robots in both trial-farm and commercial-farm settings, the project Using autonomous systems to guide vegetable decision making on-farm (VG15003) was tasked with advancing the application of robotics, intelligent sensing systems, precision agriculture automation and more in Australia’s vegetable industry - with the end goal of increasing industry productivity, particularly in relation to brassica, lettuce and baby leaf growing.

When fully developed, these technologies will be able to be used to help improve crop performance and resource use, including through the precision application of inputs. They will also be able to assist in decision making, by providing timely and accurate information such as predictions of optimum harvest time and the estimation of yield and product quality.

The project was linked to Evaluating and testing autonomous systems developed in VG15003 in Australian vegetable production systems (VG15059), which was responsible for expanding the evaluation of technologies across a range of growing regions and crops.

Both investments drew to a close in June 2019, having supported and progressed the development of new technologies for the vegetable industry.

Though levy investment has now concluded in the Ladybird and RIPPA robots and their underlying automation systems, a solid foundation has been laid for work to continue through the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics. This independent continuation of the research will allow further refinements in autonomous systems for the industry and, ultimately, the expected delivery of adoptable technologies for growers to use on-farm.

To track the progress of this work outside of the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund, visit the Australian Centre for Field Robotics website.

Related levy funds

These projects were strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund