Smart Farming: Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik is researching artificial intelligence in agriculture



In a three-year project, Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik GmbH is working with the Parsberg-Lupburg Technology Campus, the University of Passau and PCO AG and is researching artificial intelligence in agriculture and smart farming.

Förderbescheidübergabe vom Bundesministium an den Technologie Campus Parsberg-Lupburg

The aim is to reliably identify the growth center of weeds using artificial intelligence (AI) in image processing and the use of novel thermal imaging cameras. The project is intended to be another milestone on the road to reliable smart farming solutions.

Funding letter from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture

On 12.07.2021, Alois Karl, MdB, visited the Technology Campus (TC) Parsberg-Lupburg. He had a funding letter from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in his luggage. As part of the funding call “Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Agriculture (as the Basis of Smart Farming), the Food Chain and in Rural Areas”, the funding application with the name”KIDetect“successful. The project is funded in total with funding of 880,000€. Specifically, a so-called vertical farming system, a type of air-conditioned container with plant shelves, is to be created. This measure allows weeds to be planted in a targeted manner — all year round and under controlled conditions. In addition, the weeds will also be photographed fully automatically.

Artificial intelligence in agriculture and smart farming

The big advantage is the controllable lighting conditions when taking pictures and the ability to take a large number of images over the entire duration of the project, which are necessary to learn the AI algorithms. Compared to other research activities in the Federal Republic of Germany, camera technology with a novel image sensor is to be used. Plant parts with a high water content are significantly darker in the images. Information that is intended to help identify the stem of weeds based on the image information. This is a unique research approach nationwide to date. As a project partner, the Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik GmbH their extensive expertise and practical experience in measuring plants in the field, e.g. for the purpose of exact fertilizer dosing. In his speech, Bundestag member Karl underlined the importance of using artificial intelligence in agriculture and smart farming. As shown in this project, food production can be significantly more environmentally friendly in the future by selectively removing weeds and significantly reducing or possibly completely eliminating the use of herbicides — in line with the environment and sustainable management. “I am extremely pleased that we in Bavaria have set ourselves such visionary goals,” says Alois Karl.

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