ESMERA Monthly, July 2021 edition

Your monthly update on European SME's robotics innovation straight into your inbox. We would appreciate any feedback, please send your comments via e-mail to esmera-news@lms.mech.upatras.gr.

Who we are

ESMERA is a starting point for European SMEs in designing and developing robotic solutions, providing mentorship, networking and funding.
Key European companies have defined industry challenges in two open calls. A total of 32 experiments have been funded which address those challenges. The teams are supported by the ESMERA consortium, made up of four leading competence centers and three successful European robotics companies acting as mentors.

ESMERA Second Open Call Experiments (ESMERA-SOCE)

Differently from ESMERA First Open Call Experiments, ESMERA-SOCE targets following eight sectors: agriculture, construction, emergency response, energy, food processing, healthcare, manufacturing and retail. The ESMERA-SOCE started their Phase I in May 2020 and completed in March 2021. Find the detailed information about Phase I of ESMERA-SOCE here. This issue of the newsletter covers the experiments from agriculture and constructions sectors which qualified to Phase II of ESMERA-SOCE. Congratulations to the FLOX, PRYSM and ROVER4RT.


As feed is the main cost for farmers, chicken growth is measured in Food Conversion Ratio (FCR). Uneven growth and low FCRs stems from various reasons - particularly inconsistent environment, disease and stress from human contact.
Visual 1: FLOX
FLOX monitors the environment, provides decision information and weighs chickens
without human intervention. This enables farmers to estimate and forecast supply, measure flock growth, find problem areas with high density and make decisions to improve health and welfare of their flock. Compared with current methods, FLOX is lower cost, more effective and creates evidence-led improvements in welfare and health.


Crop spraying and harvesting by robots remain a complex challenge, particularly because of their low efficiency, accuracy and robustness on sensing, perception and interpretation of the agricultural environment.
Visual 1: PRySM
PRySM integrates innovative sprayer with robotics technologies to reach an autonomous precision spraying robot that is capable of working in steep slope vineyards.


The glyphosate is currently used herbicide to prevent plant growth between the railway tracks. EU has prohibited glyphosate usage with effect from end 2022 due to environmental and health concerns. Hence, new non-chemical solutions are required as the weed and vegetation removal pose a recurring maintenance problem for all railway operators.
Visual 1: ROVER4RT
ROVER4RT (Robotic Vegetation Removal for Railway Tracks) is a clean and sustainable alternative to glyphosate for the weed removal and maintenance in the railway tracks.With its flat design the ROVER4RT is capable of navigating between railway tracks. It can perform the maintenance activities smoothly with existing infrastructures without having to stop the rail traffic.

Flox 3
Visual 2: FLOX is directed to disperse into dense areas of the shed, thanks to its detection and agglomerative algorithms.
Flox 2
Visual 3: FLOX identifies the number and weight of birds on the weighing platform with scales and cameras, thanks to its weighing and detection algorithms.

Visual 2: PRySM on duty
PRySM transforms a small and teleoperated rubber track robot chassis towards an autonomous precision spraying robot for high-value crops in rough outdoor terrain, impacting all permanent crops.
PRySM is equipped with advanced algorithms for self-localization and navigation using LiDAR and GNSS receiver data to support precision spraying tasks. Additionally, PRySM integrates an electrical platform with a sprayer tool and robotic software that are beyond spraying (e.g. pruning and harvesting) to comply and cooperate with existing and future Agro Decision Support Systems.
Visual 2: ROVER4RT removes weeds with laser
Laser beams directed towards weeds is an efficient control method as an alternative to herbicides. A stereo camera system and Artificial Intelligence software is used to recognize the plants and optimize the pointing position of the laser beam. The laser is accurately pointed to the selected targets and not to the rail tracks, track sleepers, or elsewhere that could potentially reflect it.
Rover4rt_robotic arms2
Visual 3: ROVER4RT attaches robotic arms
ROVER4RT is resistant to the suction effect from trains passing over thanks to its adjustable robotic arms that can attach different sizes of railway tracks. Additionally, the robot has a communication system that is capable of receiving instructions from a control centre, as well as transmitting inspection data (pictures, videos) and self-diagnostic data.

ESMERA Spotlight: Interview Series

The ESMERA interview series is starting soon about the developments and experiences of FOCE and SOCE in the ESMERA Project. Stay tuned for the interviews on ESMERA Youtube, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.
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