Ekobot and Telia have begun a collaboration to create a powerful solution for efficient precision agriculture. The solution is based on connection to Telia's 5G network and gives Ekobot new great opportunities for handling incoming and outgoing data from its robot systems. The research institute of Sweden, RISE also participates in the collaboration with cutting-edge expertise in agricultural technology as well as Axis Communications, which contributes with its camera technology.
The collaboration between Ekobot, Telia, RISE and Axis Communications aims to explore how the communication between the robot and the mobile network works and what requirements it places on the technical solution. The pilot of connecting the robot to the 5G network was carried out during the early summer at Brunnby Gård in Västerås.
Ekobot's autonomous robot system can identify and mechanically remove weeds using advanced camera sensors and AI. In this way, farmers can automate more manual labor, which is costly, and also reduce dependence on chemical pesticides, which can be harmful to the environment.
– We have for several years worked to explore how 5G can be used in a number of different industries and sectors of society, from industry to healthcare. This collaboration gives us insight into the exciting world of agriculture, where technology plays a key role in sustainable development. We believe that the combination of 5G and automation in precision agriculture has great potential, says Magnus Leonhardt, head of innovation for Telia Sweden.
– Telia is the right partner for Ekobot. They lead the 5G investment in Sweden and have the skills and technology needed to connect, monitor and control the robot via the 5G network under real conditions in agriculture. With RISE's unique knowledge in agricultural technology and Axis Videoteknik, we can take important steps forward to industrialize and scale the solution, says Erik Jonuks, CEO of Ekobot.
The robot is autonomous and handles weed cleaning automatically. The future lies in the data collection that the robot carries out, which will form the basis for qualified decision support in agriculture (so-called precision agriculture). Powerful sensors placed on the robot, such as multispectral cameras and ground analysis probes, generate very large amounts of data that are analyzed in cloud services and fed back to the robot and farmers. The robot can also be controlled remotely, which requires real-time video transmission. All in all, it places high demands on a powerful, robust and secure communication solution. 5G with its unique technical features such as low response time and high bandwidth can meet these needs.
-Autonomic vehicles have begun their entry into agriculture and therefore it is very exciting to be part of the development of Ekobot. A reliable connection with sufficient capacity for continuous data transmission in real time is important for more farmers to be able to use this type of solution in the field. Therefore, it feels like the right next step to now be able to connect Ekobot to a real 5G network, says Per-Anders Algerbo, senior project manager at RISE