£6.4m boost to build world's first agri-robotics centre in UK

The project will look at how robots can tend, harvest and quality control high-value crops with minimum human intervention
The project will look at how robots can tend, harvest and quality control high-value crops with minimum human intervention

New research will look at how robots can help boost English farms productivity and produce more food through the world’s first farming robotics centre.

Farming robots could help tend and quality control high-value crops in the world’s first ever agri-robotics centre at the University of Lincoln.

Agri-food is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK – twice the scale of automotive and aerospace combined – supporting a food chain which generates a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £113bn, with 3.9m employees in a truly international industry.

It is widely agreed that robotics will transform the food and farming industries in the coming years, as producers adapt to meet significantly increased global demand.

However, according to Lincoln University's Professor Andrew Hunter, there is still research and development to be done.

“The creation of Lincoln Agri-Robotics is therefore extremely timely and positions Lincolnshire, and the UK, at the leading edge of research innovations in this truly global industry.



“Technologies will facilitate a step change in agricultural productivity while reducing environmental impact, and this new centre of excellence will be at the forefront of that change,” he said.

This project will be receiving £6,344,000. It is one of 13 projects to benefit from a share of £76 million to work on ground-breaking research.

The programme will tackle a broad range of research challenges, including speeding up crop production.

The investment will be made through the government's Industrial Strategy.