Smart Droplets’ main objective is to advance both hardware and software capabilities during chemical applications for resource optimisation and minimisation of chemical waste. It will use existing technologies (>TRL 7) developed within but not limited to the agricultural industry to accomplish this vision to deliver a complete system capable of translating large amounts of data from the field into meaningful information and impactful spraying commands to achieve the Green Deal goals. The road towards achieving the main objective consists of four key objectives. 1)Innovate using intelligent Data infrastructure and Digital Twins. Data interoperability, storage and exploitation of AI models are crucial to support, monitoring and refining of big amounts of field data. While Digital Twins and AI models play an instrumental role in analyzing field data to recommend spraying strategies.
2)Introduce a robotic solution for autonomous spraying. A retrofit (robotic) tractor and an advanced sprayer will be deployed in real farms to address the challenge of resource optimization and waste minimization, targeting chemical and nutrient over-application and natural resource exploitation during crop care tasks. 3)Optimize technologies and demonstrate the Green Deal goals in real life environments. Robotic and non- components will be tested and validated, and then progressively deployed in real farms where through data-driven decisions, will demonstrate its ability to attain its goals. 4)Community building, synergies, and results exploitation. Building a community around Smart Droplets is an integral part of the project as it ensures proper information exchange with relevant stakeholders, outreach to similar communities, and training programs for members while exposing technological and domain-specific constraints. While, result exploitation facilitates productization, adoption, and sustainability.
IMPACT 1: Support Europe’s open strategic autonomy by sustaining first-mover advantages in strategic areas including AI, data, robotics, and by investing early in emerging enabling technologies. Smart Droplets will invest significant resources in technologies for sustainable and responsible agriculture. A strong IPR strategy will protect the EU’s rights on the market and help shape a greener and fairer world. Digital Farm Twins, robotics, AI, and data are at the heart of Smart Droplets towards developing an innovative spraying solution for crop care tasks. Smart Droplets is creating added value in the agricultural industry and its supply chain, thus leveraging the first mover advantage to support Europe’s open strategic autonomy, aligned with the EU mandate to reduce hazardous agrochemicals. Innovative and sustainable results of Smart Droplets will contribute to resilience and competitiveness of the EU economy while identifying early opportunities and bottlenecks on the IP and exploitation aspects of such technologies
IMPACT 2: Reinforced European industry leadership across the digital supply chain. Advances in robotic systems and the influx of AI and Data technologies have the potential to contribute to the Green Deal objectives across the European digital supply chain. Europe cannot afford to stay behind in the race of large-scale agriculture robotisation, so Smart Droplets offers the necessary test bench for exploring disruptive technologies that can offer global excellence and reduction of agrochemicals. The leading position of the European industry will be validated through benchmarking of all technological aspects during the project implementation. Moreover, real environment demonstrations will showcase the technological progress made within the project and validate their contribution towards the Green Deal. A comprehensive exploitation strategy will advance the adoption rate of robotic, AI and Data solutions, thereby reinforcing European industry leadership in the digital food supply chain.
IMPACT 3: Robust European industrial & technology presence in key parts of a greener digital supply chain, from low-power components to advanced systems, future networks, new data tech. & platforms. Smart Droplets takes a multi-layer complementary approach to tackle key parts of the supply chain, incorporating different components such as Digital Data Twins, robotics, AI, and Data Platforms to create an optimized spraying solution. This data-centric approach includes historic field data, 3rd party information services, and real-time sensory data of the deployed robotic system. Robust European industrial and technology presence requires strong engagement by stakeholders. Therefore, community and capacity-building activities will ensure proper transition and adoption of technologies.