Six excellent speakers at PhenoRob Female Talk Series

This is one of the privileges of a Cluster of Excellence: to invite six outstanding female speakers from all over the world. This is how one of the spokespersons, Heiner Kuhlmann, introduced the PhenoRob Female Talk Series on February 11. On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, PhenoRob had the pleasure to host talks by Margarita Chli (ETH Zurich), Maren Bennewitz (University of Bonn), Aimee von Wynsberghe (TU Delft), Asmeret Asefaw Berhe (UC Merced), Silke Hemmings (Wageningen UR), and Ute Nöthlings (University of Bonn). The speakers covered a wide range of research topics related to PhenoRob: from robotics, ethics and soil sciences to crop production and nutrition.

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Visit from New Zealand

Organised by the DAAD, a delegation from New Zealand science institutions visited PhenoRob at the University of Bonn on 13th January. The two spokespersons of the Cluster of Excellence first gave an interesting overview of the research topics and the necessity for changes in today’s agricultural production. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion with a number of questions from the guests.

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PhenoRob Talk at IIT Tirupati

Nived Chebrolu gave a talk titled ‘Robotics for Precision Agriculture’ on 31st Dec, 2019 at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Tirupati.

The talk covered topics ranging from monitoring fields using UAVs, automated in-field interventions for weed control using ground robots and the potential of phenotyping activities at the field scale. IIT Tirupati has recently started a inter-departmental effort towards pursuing precision agriculture as thrust area for research.

PhenoRob Talk for school students in India

Nived Chebrolu gave a talk regarding the possibilities of robotics on 28th Dec, 2019 at the T.M. Rao High School, Bhattiprolu, India. The talk was attended by students from grades 6 to 10.

The talk highlighted the roles robots could play in our day-to-day activities. Considerable interest was expressed by the students towards pursuing a career in this direction and were particularly excited by the possibility of robotics in agriculture, which forms the primary economic activity in this region.    

Structural change in the Rhineland area with research as a driving force

For the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia a successful structural change of the Rhineland mining area after the phase-out of lignite-based electricity is a central task. “The regional agricultural and food industry can and will play an active role here as an important driving force. Bread instead of lignite – through the production of food, but also as a supplier of renewable raw materials, a modern agricultural policy in the region will actively shape the upcoming process of change”, said Environment and Agriculture Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser in Jülich. Together with Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier, the Ministry of the Environment had invited to the event “Neues Rheinisches Revier – Strukturwandel mit modernen Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft”.

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Geodialogue in Bonn – excellent and digital

The geobusiness region bonn, a network of the Geo-IT industry in the Bonn Rhein-Sieg area and the district of Ahrweiler, held its 8th GeoDialogue at the beginning of December 2019. In the “old church” in the Collegium Leonium, the Geo-IT initiative brought together representatives from science, business and administration to jointly experience projects in which Bonn proves to be exceptionally digital and excellent.

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New Startup Pheno-Inspect accelerates plant breeding

What’s the growth like? Have pests and diseases struck? Are the increased droughts affecting the plants? Anyone who breeds new plant varieties has to collect extensive data on question like plant growth, diseases or environmental effects. The startup Pheno-Inspect aims to accelerate plant breeding. The cameras of a drone record the plant populations, and software automatically evaluates their properties using artificial intelligence methods. This quickly shows whether the new breed has been successful or not. The project is funded by the “START-UP-Hochschul-Ausgründungen” program with around 270,000 euros.

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PhenoRob and partners win Syngenta Crop Challenge

On the basis of environmental and crop growth data and profound expert knowledge, the “Fraunhofer Research Center for Machine Learning” and the cluster of excellence PhenoRob have developed an artificial intelligence that determines environmental conditions in agriculture and their impact on plant growth. With their technology, the scientists took the first place in the Syngenta Crop Challenge 2019.

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