The establishment of the UK’s first global centre of excellence in agri-robotics research has come a step closer after the Government awarded £5.4 million of grant funding to the University of Lincoln from the Expanding Excellence in England (E3) Fund.
Lincoln Agri-Robotics will expand two of the University of Lincoln’s specialist research groups and bring the groups’ scientists together into one specialist organisation. The university says the new centre will ‘fuse robotics and artificial intelligence expertise with that from agriculture and other disciplines such as food manufacturing, engineering, life sciences and social sciences.’
Professor Andrew Hunter, Lincoln’s Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, commented, “It is widely agreed that robotics will transform the food and farming industries in the coming years, as producers adapt to meet significantly increased global demand, but there is still so much research and development to be done. The creation of Lincoln Agri-Robotics is therefore extremely timely and positions Lincolnshire, and the UK, at the leading edge of research innovations in this truly global industry. RAAI technologies will facilitate a step change in agricultural productivity while reducing environmental impact, and this new centre of excellence will be at the forefront of that change.”
Research at Lincoln Agri-Robotics will focus on autonomous agri-robots that can efficiently tend, harvest and quality-control high-value crops with reduced human intervention.
Photo Credit: University of Lincoln