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Autonomous robots to spray vines tested for the first time in Portugal

The first demonstration event of the European project SCORPION – focusing on the development of autonomous robots to spray mountain vineyards, without wasting chemicals, and with environmental and economic benefits - took place this month, at INESC TEC and at Quinta do Seixo (Pinhão)-  

29th November 2021

The first demonstration event of the European project SCORPION – focusing on the development of autonomous robots to spray mountain vineyards, without wasting chemicals, and with environmental and economic benefits - took place this month, at INESC TEC and at Quinta do Seixo (Pinhão)-

The main objective of this demonstration was to test and validate the preliminary solutions of the project in a real environment, namely the sensors, the GNSS receivers (using signals from the Galileo system) and the robot controllers. Over two days, the activities also included lectures and workshops to present and exchange different outlooks.

The European project SCORPION - Cost effective robots for smart precision spraying, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, is developing new technologies to decrease the use of phytopharmaceuticals and increase the levels of mechanisation and automation in mountain vineyards and tree crops, which translates into environmental (less chemical pollution) and economic benefits.

“Over the last two days, we had the opportunity to present and validate two innovative robots, fully designed by INESC TEC. At this stage, the consortium is developing innovative tools and advanced navigation, perception (sensors) and safety systems that will be attached to these robots. After a successful integration, we'll be able to prove the robots' potential to reduce the amount of chemicals used in vineyards”, said Filipe Neves dos Santos, CRIIS researcher and project coordinator.

Twenty-two researchers from seven institutions attended this event: INESC TEC (8), DEIMOS (2), TEYME (2), CERVIM (3), EUT (2), CNR (4) and INNOVI (1).

There are four additional demonstrations planned until the end of the project, in December 2023: two in Italy (March 2023 and September 2022), one in Spain (May 2022) and the last one in Portugal (August 2023).