The collaboration between Ekobot, Telia, research institute and aggrotech specialists RISE, and network video leaders Axis Communications focuses on exploring how communication between the robot and the mobile network works under real conditions and what that means for the technical solution.
The pilot to connect, monitor and remote control the robot through the 5G network was run at a farm outside the city of Västerås in Sweden.
Ekobot’s autonomous electric robot with the same name, EKOBOT, can identify and remove weeds with the help of advanced camera sensors and AI. This means farmers can automate more manual work, which is costly, and at the same time lessen their dependence on chemical herbicides, which can be harmful for the environment.
“For several years now, we have explored how 5G can be deployed in a range of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare. This partnership gives us valuable insights into the exciting world of farming, where technology plays a critical role for sustainable development. We believe the combination of 5G and automation in precision farming has a lot of potential, says Magnus Leonhardt, head of innovation”, Telia Sweden.
“Telia is the perfect partner for Ekobot. They lead the 5G-rollout in Sweden and has the competence and technology to connect, monitor and remote steer the robot via the 5G network during real conditions in farming. With RISE unique knowledge in agrotech and Axis video technology we can take important steps forward in industrializing and scaling the solution”, says Erik Jonuks, CEO at Ekobot.
The robot is autonomous and sorts of out weeds automatically. The future lies in the data collected performed by the robot, which can then be process and analyzed by farmers, so called precision farming.
Powerful sensors mounted on the robot, like multispectral cameras and soil probes, generate a lot of data which are analyzed in cloud services, and sent back to the robot and made available to farmers.
The robot can also be remote steered which requires realtime data feeds. All in all, this requires a powerful, robust and secure connectivity solution. 5G with its unique properties, like low latency and high bandwidth can meet these needs.
Ekobot is the result of the founder Ulf Nordbeck’s thoughts and desire to combine robotics and healthy sustainable food production. The company is listed on Nasdaq First North and has strategic partnerships and pilots with some of Sweden’s leading farmers.
Ekobot’s goal is to be able to offer practical and sustainable solutions to agricultural issues while reducing workload with autonomous tools for vegetable farmers. Ekobot has grown and combined today a team of experts in agricultural robotics with shareholders who share their convictions and understand the challenges of start-ups.