Program

Introduction to the 3rd IEEE CAS Seasonal School on AgriFood Electronics: SmartTechnologies for a Sustainable Agriculture.
Introduction by Victor Grimblatt and Danilo Demarchi, chair and co-chair of the IEEE CAS Special Interest Group on AgriFood Electronics.

As Precision Fruit Growing has dawned on us, what aspects of tree physiology are mostly amenable to, and in need of, automation? And, how quickly can this innovation be passed on to the production sector?
A discussion of the ‘demand’ side of PA includes plant water relations, leaf gas exchanges, fruit growth physiology, crop load control, in an agrivoltaics context, which forces orchard design in specific directions.
High value crops, such as fruit and winegrapes, will be the focus of this talk.

Diseases caused by plant pathogens (fungi, bacteria, viruses and viroids, as well as abiotic stresses) cause losses ranging from 5 to 50%, in different geographic areas. Plant protection, despite the availability of sophisticated technologies, is complicated by several factors. Climate change, by shifting crops and pathogens, and global trade, by moving goods, including seeds and planting material, have a strong influence on the spread of new and old pathogens. Smart technologies (diagnostic tools, sensors, long distance monitoring, …) help in the process of reducing external inputs, such as pesticides. A number of practical examples will be presented and critically discussed.

Today, we are facing the critical demand for high agricultural productivity, to meet the needs of the increasing world population, and for the environmental sustainability of the farming systems. The challenge requires to increase alternative climate-smart farming systems able to ensure high yields in a more sustainable way.
Crop diseases affect crop yield and quality and cause significant losses of total food production worldwide. Plant health monitoring is one method to increase yields and guarantee food security while decreasing environmental impacts.
A brief overview of the specific demands and challenges for targeted pest management programs in sustainable crop production will be provided.

Through an imaginary menu composed in the classic Italian way of an appetiser, a first course, a second course and a dessert, this speech will accompany you to the table of the global emergency that the food system is facing as creator of the same problems of which it is victim. The desire is to share information and perspectives to live the circularity on a daily basis, because a sustainable economy can only be an economy of knowledge.

We are appropriately accustomed to thinking that image sensing is one of the most sophisticated techniques to investigate the environment due to the large amount of information carried by the two(three)-dimensional signals. However, image technology needs calibration, setup, and environmental embedding requirements that are frequently critical. On the other hand, spectral sensing still allows a massive amount of information (each point of the spectrum) using a single transducer.
Recently, investigations on novel bands (mm-wave, terahertz radiation) together with traditional ones (ultrasound, optical, microwave) opened new perspectives in Precision Agriculture (PA), permitting complex and deep physical analysis of materials, an aspect where image sensing techniques lag behind.
The main problem of spectra sensing is understanding where the information is hidden in spectra and how to extract it in a measurable form. For this reason, in this presentation, we will introduce Multivariate Analysis techniques showing the power of this approach in low-power, low-computation edge computing applications and perspectives in PA.

IoT is a means to trigger information technology in a wide number of production processes, farming being one of them. New infrastructures facilitate the development of a large variety of applications, if a major limit is addressed: the lack of connectivity in remote and rural areas. The lecture will review and compare wireless technologies suitable for IoT applications specifically dedicated to farming.

In the talk, the application of bioimpedance for fruit quality characterization will be presented, by first introducing a theoretical background, and then providing case-studies from our work on the subject. Specifically, our portable impedance analyzer (the FruitMeter), its integration with printed electrodes and ad-hoc developed machine learning classification algorithms for the on-plant ripeness discrimination will be presented. In addition, an overview of applications for fruit post-harvest quality and plant health monitoring will be given.

Recent printing techniques let us to fabricate sensors integrating them into object allowing the development of the sensing part of a smart object. Being incorporated into the object, the fabricated sensor can be considered as "embedded sensor". The printed sensor can have dimensions smaller than a millimeter and can exploit a lot of materials enabling the realization of different classical structures for capacitive or resistive transducers. However many topics such as the suitability of the printed material with the corresponding support material, the control of the size and shape of the printed material, the physical characteristics of the printed sensor will guide the next future research activities. The development of the embedded sensor will involve other elements of the system such as the front-end electronics, the energy management exploiting energy harvesting or telemetry techniques and communication capabilities. The possibilities offered by these printed sensors will enable the development of sensors embedded in plants or leaves. The seminar will investigate the state of the art of printed sensors and will propose some considerations on the possibility of developing printed sensors for agriculture.

The intense use of pesticides contributed to the contamination of soils and groundwater. Nanopesticides (colloidal suspensions of nanocarriers loaded with pesticidal compouds) have been proposed to overcome technical and environmental problems of traditional agrochemicals.
Here a novel nanoformulation is presented, based on eco-compatible materials (mineral particles and food-grade biopolymers), and applied to dicamba, a highly soluble herbicide, to control its delivery and reduce environmental spreading.

Nowadays, there are several technological and innovative solutions which are potentially useful in agriculture 4.0, but it is important to study the real effectiveness and their limitation. Drones, satellite images, autonomous driving, GNSS: what is the real applications of these sensors and what is the role of Geomatics in precision farming?
In this contribution, sensors, technologies and methodologies will be analyzed, making a critical review of the possible applications.

Water is clearly a fundamental resource for mankind, key in the agrifood domain in multiple scenarios: from freshwater management of natural resources to urban (drinking) and rural (irrigation, farming) applications.
In this lecture we will review sensors and electronic circuits used to monitor several parameters of water distributed in pipelines for human use, from pressure, flow-rate, leakage, pipe health to conductivity and other electrochemical parameters. The main architectures for distributed and wireless networks of monitoring nodes will be presented, with special focus on self-diagnostics, low-power design and novel applications of impedance sensors.

Precision or Smart agriculture is a fast-growing research field. The increase of the human population is always demanding more food production and the consciousness of the importance of diet quality requires a more controlled and higher quality production, targeting the optimisation of water use and a lower spreading of pesticides. Thus, it is straightforward to apply the progress in electronics and sensors technology to reach these different objectives.
In this talk, an overview of the sensors applied for precision agriculture and the related smart systems will be presented, in particular for sensing the plants with devices installed on the plants themselves. Application and technological scenarios based on intelligent electronic systems for crop monitoring, information communication and decision support will be analysed. A presentation of the state of the art of multi-sensing solutions and communication systems useful in agriculture will be followed by an analysis of the future scenarios of the application of digital technologies to precision agriculture.

The world is going into a disaster if no actions are taken soon to stop the global warming and the corresponding climate change. Agribusiness is responsible for almost a third of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
On the other hand, agribusiness is one of the most affected sectors by climate change. Technology should play an important and essential role as it provides ways to measure and analyze data that will show GHG emissions for example and can also help defining actions to be taken and, in some cases, automating the actions.
In this talk we will analyze the different ways Agribusiness is affecting climate change and the technologies that could help to mitigate the change.

Depending on the profile of the Alma Mater, the transition of a research group from Academia to the creation of a Startup may be cumbersome.
This talk describes such adventure for a hardware-oriented Ag-tech Startup in the emergent economy of Chile. It focuses on the mistakes as the main lessons, and shows the pivots of the products as the learning mechanisms to correct those mistakes.
The main message is: business-driven innovation has to consider more than a contribution to the science.

Irrigated agriculture represents 20 percent of the total cultivated land and contributes 40 percent to the total food produced worldwide. Irrigated agriculture is, on average, at least twice as productive per unit of land as rainfed agriculture. To increase these percentages and also improve yields and reduce waste, we must help farmers adopting digital technologies.
Many attempts have been tried, though fragmented or incomplete and not really taking into consideration the field requirements.
We propose a holistic two steps approach: first, we assess the needs and identify the type of data, the sources and the infrastructure required to feed the logic of the algorithm; second, we integrate the logic and the infrastructure with irrigation systems of choice or already in place. If we want to grow the percentages mentioned we must take into consideration the hundreds of irrigation systems already in place, not just the new ones.

A robotic system for multicropping horticulture is presented with main technical aspects related to cultivation, sensing amd safety issues. Also discussed are some cross competetences needed to bridge the gap between technology potential and farmers needs.

Innovative IIoT system used in Industry4.0 can play an important role to better prepare the agriculture to address the climate changes and the higher labor costs. Digitalization and Cutting-edge breeding hardware and software technologies can transform the agriculture. A new generation of farm tech can use the latest advancement in IIoT to take the most appropriate decision to reduce intrants, to prevent illness or to better use the water resources.
In this presentation after the introduction of the Edge IIoT and AI, the presentation will explain why it is important to move the AI from the cloud to the Edge. Then, a real case study will be illustrated where the previous concepts are applied. This use case study is done in collaboration with Vranken Pommery to digitalize the Champagne production by introducing a state-of-the-art IIoT platform.
Finally, the presentation will also address several challenges in implementation the monitoring/decision platform

The lecture provides knowledge on how to design an energy autonomous microsystem embedding sensors with wireless transmission of information. It covers energy generation, power management, and data processing and transmission with an emphasis on low-power and energy efficient operation.
It aims to show innovative systems, strategies, techniques, and circuits for powering, energy-autonomous, and battery-free devices that are sustainable and need minimal or no maintenance.

In this lecture we will discuss the challenges of a silo management. What a farmer should obtain, and the main reasons the product's quality may not be kept in a good condition. After, we will see how technology can help the farmer to handle these and as an example we will use the Internet-of-Crops®. More technically, how IoT sends the asset conditions to the cloud and feeds the CFD algorithms implementing the digital twin between the real asset and the virtual one and how industry v4.0 applications may be connected to this.