An agriculture 4.0, more and more advanced and attentive to sustainability. This is one of the missions of the Digital Innovation Hub for Agriculture and Food Production – DIH Agrifood, a digital cluster connected to agriculture that is based in Murska Sobota, Slovenia, and that for the last six months has included among its members Video Systems of Codroipo (Udine), active in the field of vision and artificial intelligence and in quality and process control.
“In this cluster – explains Alessandro Liani, CEO and R&D technical director of the Friuli-based company – they have begun to map all the European realities that produce digital technology for the world of agriculture. A large geolocalized database has been created so that the agricultural sector and related research can interact and fully understand the potential that exists in Europe. The cluster is becoming a sort of European reference for the digitalization of the agricultural and food world. The advantages that can derive from the digitalization of production processes in the agricultural sector lie, according to Liani, “above all in the possibility of collecting data that can be used for future analysis. This means the possibility of setting up predictive systems that allow, over time, to improve the production process. Moreover, the digitalization of processes, besides optimizing them, leads to a reduction in process costs. We have already experienced this in the industrial manufacturing sector and in the same way this will also impact the agricultural sector, perhaps with even more important repercussions given that processes have even higher margins for improvement”. Moreover, a better management of natural resources is foreseen, i.e. a better use of the land and a saving of water: “predictive treatments, possible through data analysis, will allow to improve production processes, replacing the programmed ones.” Video Systems brings to the cluster its experience gained over the years: “For years – underlines Liani – we have been developing some technologies that can be used in the agri-food sector. In 2007, for example, we developed systems for the automatic search of white asparagus on, in collaboration with a farm in the Prata di Pordenone area, which led to the creation of a robot that runs between the rows, recognizes the white asparagus and automatically extracts it. In this case, we only dealt with the part related to artificial vision, while the robotic and mechanical part of the rover was developed by another company”. Over the years there have been further developments: “from 2014 to 2018 we have been involved – always Liani – in projects in the field of aquaculture, in particular with regard to the selection of fry, through a system, made by us in its entirety, through which the fry end up on a ribbon, are photographed on both sides for the recognition of the caliber and to trace those that may have morphological malformations, in order to eliminate the non-compliant fry from the production cycle before its maturation. The idea is to make a selection as soon as possible in order to have a production that has an impact on energy and resources as limited as possible. I want to underline – remarks Liani – that we have reached a product selection capacity of over 95%, a very good percentage”. But which are the users and therefore the potential customers? Certainly the immediate users, i.e. large agricultural companies and those linked to aquaculture and fish farming. But not only: “we are trying to intercept the manufacturers of machines in the agro-alimentary sector.

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