AFarCloud – Aggregate Farming in the Cloud
Farming is facing many economic challenges in terms of productivity and cost-effectiveness, as well as an increasing labour shortage due to depopulation of rural areas. Furthermore, reliable detection, accurate identification and proper quantification of pathogens and other factors affecting both plan and animal health, are critical to be kept under control in order to reduce economic expenditures, trade disruptions and even human health risks.
AFarCloud will provide a distributed platform for autonomous farming that will allow the integration and cooperation of agricultural Cyber-Physical Systems in real-time in order to increase efficiency, productivity, animal health, food quality and reduce farm labour costs. This platform will be integrated with farm management software and will support monitoring and decision-making solutions based on big data and real-time data mining techniques. The AFarCloud project also aims to make farming robots accessible to more users by enabling farming vehicles to work in a cooperative mesh, thus opening up new applications and ensuring re-usability, as heterogeneous standard vehicles can combine their capabilities in order to lift farmer revenue and reduce labour costs.
The achievements from AFarCloud will be demonstrated in three holistic demonstrators (Finland, Spain and Italy), including cropping and livestock management scenarios and 8 local demonstrators (Latvia, Sweden, Spain and Czech Republic) in order to test specific functionalities and validate project results in relevant environments located in different European regions.
AFarCloud outcomes will strengthen partners’ market position boosting their innovation capacity and addressing industrial needs both at EU and international levels. The consortium represents the whole ICT-based farming solutions’ value chain, including all key actors needed for the development, demonstration and future market uptake of the precision farming framework targeted in the project.
AFarCloud receives funding from the European H2020 research and innovation programme, ECSEL Joint Undertaking (grant agreement no 783221), from the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology under the funding programme “IKT der Zukunft” (Austrian national funding for ECSEL, grant agreement no 865195).
TTControl will contribute to the by supporting the Austrian use case, integrating an industrial user interface and a gateway to the cloud in highly automated tractor. The user interface will enable the user (i.e. the farmer) to interact with the AFarCloud Mission Management Tool (MMT) to decide on the farming mission to be undertaken by the tractor. The gateway provides a connection to the AFarCloud Cloud solution, transferring data between the tractor and the cloud, where a Decision Support System (DSS) decides on possible actions for the tractor.