The VinBot technology responds to a need to boost the quality of European wines through the robotics. European Researchers from Spain and Portugal will work on a three-year research to develop the precision viticulture tool in the face of serious market threats worldwide and structural shortcomings within the sector. VinBot is a FP7 project.

Researchers at Robotnik (Valencia), the Higher Institute of Agronomy (Lisbon) and Ateknea Solutions (Barcelona) and will pool their expertise to achieve data-intensive computer vision algorithms to be offloaded to external internet servers. Then VinBot will be able to extend visual leaf and fruit estimation throughout the entire vineyard, and to centralise yield management by providing wine growers with accurate online yield maps of their vineyards. The research will be supported by the technical companies: Cantine d’Alfonso del Sordo (San Severo-Apulia, Italy), Agri-Ciencia Consultores de Engenharia (Lisboa) and Assist Software (Suceava, Romania)

The automatic yield monitoring system VinBot will accurately assess grape yield and relevant phyto-data via a set of sensors, tracking the state and location of the assets, generating maps, capturing sample locations, and sharing such information in a quick, flexible, autonomous and easy-to-use way. By means of this estimating the amount of leaves and grapes on the vine via computer vision and other sensors, VinBot will provide growers with online yield maps of their vineyards.

Thousands of wine producers will benefit of quality wine and an easier decision-making process in terms of harvesting and field monitoring. At the vineyard level, growers will be able to accurately assess yield due to the large amount of terrain to inspect, and use sample-based estimates of smaller production areas to estimate yield, which also negatively affects wine quality.

VinBot will represent a powerful precision viticulture tool, which does not exist today: the cloud-computing agricultural robot. Using the VinBot, Cooperativa Agricola de Granja (Portugal), Orgovanyi Gazdaszovetkezet Szovetket (Hungary) and Bodegas Familiares de Rioja PROVIR (Spain) will benefit of the coordination and optimisation of yield management strategies throughout their thousands of members’ vineyards, based on their collective expertise and commercial objectives. They expect to sell their wine for 8%-20% more over a five year period by employing the VinBot system to accurately estimate yield.