The field of agricultural robotics is booming

Source: Fresh Plaza

Following the success of the 5th edition of FIRA last December, GOFAR, the association for the promotion of agricultural robotics, decided to organize a FIRA Open Day event on April 15th. It was the opportunity for the entire sector to come together again for a free virtual event, and to discover the main 2021-2022 novelties. FIRA will become World FIRA and will take on a hybrid format for the edition of December 7th-9th, 2021. FIRA USA 2022 will be held in California in the spring.

FIRA Open Day 2021: the US market and the automation of John Deere, AGCO and Case IH/CNH machinery
The FIRA Open Day on April 15th brought together 1,000 participants who came to discover new demos and presentations of agricultural robots (Monarch Tractor, Earth Rover, Ambit Robotics, Naïo Technologies, SITIA, VitiBot…).

It was also the opportunity to discover the state of the art of the automation projects from main tractor manufacturers, with the participation of Kent Brown (Senior Product Manager, Harvesting Automation at John Deere), Andrew Sunderman (Senior Manager, Global Farming Solutions at AGCO Corporation) and Brett McClelland (Product Manager, Precision Agriculture at CNH Industrial). A debate led by David Frabotta of the American agricultural media group Meister Media.

Finally, a panel discussion assessed the progress, needs and challenges around the development of agricultural robots in the United States. Present on the panel were Praveen Penmetsa (CEO of Monarch Tractor), Gabriel Youtsey (CIO of the University of California), Walt Duflock (VP of innovation at Western Growers), and Alain Pincot (manager of Betteravia Farms). The debate was led by Julie Peyrache, investment manager for the CAPAGRO investment fund.

World FIRA 2021 | December 7th-9th: one hybrid event, two experiences
As the health situation gives hope for better days in terms of real events, FIRA plans to reopen its doors to the public in Toulouse (France), while keeping its virtual event as the main format. All of this to be held in parallel over the course of 3 days of conferences, demos, exhibits and business.

The idea behind this virtual format is to offer a double experience to the participants. They will indeed be able to choose for a virtual participation only, or to participate in both events. They will have the possibility to plan business meetings ahead of time, for a double experience. The meetings will then take place directly on site, or via video with a participant on the other side of the world. As for the speeches, most of them will be held in the auditorium of the Congress Center and broadcast live on the online platform.

The theme of this 6th edition, “When farmers take control of the robots!”, tackles the current challenges of the sector. It gives farmers the agency over these robots, from their design to their handling, including a concrete adaptation to their daily needs.

FIRA USA 2022, in collaboration with the University of California
The United States, especially California, represents a market that is both mature and sufficiently technophile to support the growth of agricultural robotics.

It is one of the reasons why FIRA chose this region of the world for its first edition of the regional FIRA.

With many partners in the area, such as WGA (Western Growers), many manufacturers, producers and agricultural media, GOFAR has consolidated ties with the University of California which will be the local operator and co-organizer of FIRA USA 2022, planned to be held on site in March 2022.

Replay of FIRA Open Day demos and panel discussions available here:  

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