In the past few decades, new technologies have entered the agricultural fields providing means of effectively managing vineyards, improving production quality and minimizing resources, while reducing production costs and achieving sustainability. In this context, robotics has been developed to support agriculture and already agricultural robots, namely Agrobots, are available in the market. Among several projects taking place worldwide, a prototype autonomous agrobot is currently being developed aiming to be used for vineyard management and harvesting grapes in vertical training systems. The agrobot of our interest combines commercial hardware and machine vision, contributing towards a reliable information acquisition system that includes sensor-fusion algorithms and data analysis. Seasonal cultivation practices applied to the vineyards include shoot removal, leaf removal and cluster thinning. Automation of these viticultural tasks, including harvesting, by means of agrobots is an increasing trend, characterized by efficiency and improvement of production quality. In this paper, the possibilities of implementing an autonomous agricultural robot for supporting vineyard management are discussed, focusing on summer pruning, i.e. leaf removal, cluster thinning and harvesting. In addition, limitations are presented, taking under consideration the conditions in Northern Greek vineyards. This work is based on interviews of expert agronomists and enologists of local wineries, and on the characteristics of 9 vineyards located in Northern Greece, based on vineyard management/ harvest reports and vineyard mapping. This study is part of the ongoing work of the national co-funded project POGHAR (Personalized Optimal Grape Harvest by Autonomous Robot).
E. Bouloumpasi, S. Theocharis, A. Karampatea, S. Pavlidis, S. Mamalis, S. Koundouras, T. Merou, E. Vrochidou, T. Pachidis, M. Manios, G. Papakostas, V. Kaburlasos, “Exploration of viticultural tasks to be performed by autonomous robot: possibilities and limitation”, 11th International Scientific Agriculture Symposium (AGROSYM 2020), Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 8-11 October, 2020 (Accepted)