Farm 4.0: the role of electrification and automation in the agriculture of the future

Precision agriculture practices are the most effective way to significantly reduce the negative impact of farming on the environment while still producing enough food to satisfy a growing demand. The introduction of advanced sensing and action capabilities allows monitoring at plant level, spotting problems before they spread.


New services for precision farming, including drone technology (ground UAV first, but Aerial UAV can be considered as well), mobile robotics, Internet of Things and Software Platforms could be designed.


The most promising idea concerns the development of a service able to sense the needs of the cultivation, decide the strategy, and have UAVs able to perform specific operations. Thanks to the introduction of farming robots, chemicals can be applied with honeybee precision, pesticides and fungicides used only when needed and in the smallest necessary amount, or even be substituted by less impacting mechanical techniques. In brief, the introduction of advanced perception and action capabilities brings in a leading-edge technological approach to farming, allowing for observing, measuring and acting.


In particular, the ability to sense, collect and analyze data through IoT platforms and Bigdata methodologies offers the opportunity to introduce a new approach in agriculture, based on fleet of ground and/or air autonomous vehicles and mobile manipulation techniques.




This course aims at analyzing all the aspects required to set up a fleet of mobile manipulators for precision farming:


  • technological (low-cost sensors for navigation, battery autonomy, power consumption and on-field recharging devices, sensing and control methodologies, vehicle propulsion systems to minimize soil damages, etc.)
  • economical/management (business models sustainable for small and medium farmers, technology acceptance models, etc.)
  • design (human-machine interface ergonomics and acceptability)
  • landscape design (impact of new technologies on environmental planning)