News and Events
02 June 2022
Self-flying drones that monitor greenhousesSelf-flying drones that monitor greenhouses TU Delft, Royal Brinkman and start-up Mapture have developed the next step in drone technology for agriculture. Their new AI-enabled drone takes off completely independently, flies over rows of plants and people in a greenhouse, takes high-resolution photos, and lands safely back on its charging station. The photos provide growers with information about diseases and pests much more quickly. The drone is a long-established and proven way to collect large-scale and autonomous data, but most current self-flying drones operate only outdoors, high in the sky. Guido de Croon, professor of bio-inspired drones at TU Delft said that the reason relates to GPS: “Drones typically rely on GPS to know where they are and where to go. In indoor spaces, such as greenhouses, GPS is not reliable enough for navigation when flying autonomously. At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering we are working on light, small drones that can fly independently using AI. This is important, because such drones are very safe for humans, who don’t need to take extra safety measures when flying the drones. Making such a light drone fly independently is a major challenge, because they have far fewer sensors and less on-board computing power than, for example, a self-driving car. We have developed a localization technique – the drone combines signals from radio beacons in the greenhouse with its own observations to find its location as precisely as possible.” Read more...
13 April 2022
Odour Based Selective Recognition of Veterinary DiseasesFunding for Research on Odour Based Selective Recognition of Veterinary Diseases When chickens in a farm become infected or have parasites, specific odours are produced. A cross-disciplinary team will combine innovative sensors, affinity layers, and machine learning to develop and test an electronic nose. This sensitive system can recognize a fingerprint of Volatile Organic Compounds and thus recognise specific diseases at an early stage, when (preventive) measures are most effective. In this project TU Delft researchers Frans Widdershoven, Sten Vollebregt and Monique A. van der Veen will collaborate with veterinary health, industry, science professionals and societal organisations towards developing a practically applicable poultry health monitoring system to improve chicken and public health, general welfare and reduce antibiotics/chemicals use and the environmental impact of livestock farming. This project is recently awarded funding from NWA-ORC. Other granted NWA-ORC projects with TU Delft involvement can be found here .
21 March 2022
Monitoring crop health across the NetherlandsImagine growers can monitor the health and development of their crops via satellite images so they can forecast yields, assess vulnerability to drought and estimate carbon uptake by the soil. TU Delft researchers Vineet Kumar and Susan Steele-Dunne developed SandBoxNL in collaboration with European Space Agency - ESA . SandBoxNL is a toolset that uses Copernicus Sentinel data for agricultural monitoring in the Netherlands. Read more...
24 February 2022
TU Delft spin-offs piloting at Koppert CressEvery year many TU Delft spin-offs develop services or products based on acquired scientific knowledge. Many of these young companies find their way to start-up incubator YES!Delft. In almost all cases, being able to talk to end users and test in an operational or at least realistic test environment is crucial for successful validation and market introduction of the product. This certainly also applies to AgTech start-ups, where being able to test a product in a greenhouse or in a field provides very valuable feedback for validation. In practice, however, it is not always easy for start-ups to find locations, partners or funding for this phase in their development. Koppert Cress in Monster (municipality Westland) stepped in and offers several TU Delft spin-offs the opportunity to test their innovations in an actual greenhouse. Koppert Cress is of course known as a grower of various types of fresh cresses, edible flowers and leaves and and the production of Dutch vanilla , but is also a front-runner in applying technical innovations Koppert Cress is facilitating pilots for the following TU Delft Spin-offs: PHYSEE has developed a PAR+-coating which can be applied on greenhouses in order to improve the light quality. The PAR+-coating contains luminescent UV to PAR particles which make the light diffuse. This coating is unique, as part of the harmful UV radiation is converted into useful PAR light enabling hortiscatter without PAR losses. PHYSEE has applied 50m2 of PAR+-coating on a greenhouse of Koppert Cress to measure the impact of the coating on various crops. PATS is developing insect scouting and bat-like drone technology to identify and eliminate harmful insects like the Turkish moth. PATS is piloting autonomous and biological insect control technology at Koppert Cress. BBBLS is developing the Energy Saving Greenhouse using various technological innovations. One of their main innovations is a method of providing extra insulation for greenhouses with soap bubbles. Together with Koppert Cress and other project partners, BBBLS is developing a crop experimentation and demonstration of BBBLS Energy Saving Greenhouse. Thermeleon is developing innovative heat storage solutions. The products of Thermeleon enable heat storage in the greenhouse construction, floor and even in moving screens. This makes the greenhouse an actual heat battery. The pilot at Koppert Cress helps Thermeleon in the selection of configuration and in their solutions.
24 February 2022
Tuinbouw Ondernemersprijs 2022Tuinbouw Ondernemersprijs 2022 Every year, the Tuinbouw Ondernemersprijs (Horticultural Entrepreneur Award) is awarded to companies that have demonstrated excellent entrepreneurship with a focus on sustainability, innovation and market orientation. New this year is the theme prize 'Robotization and data-driven horticulture'. We congratulate the 4 innovative companies that have been nominated for this prize, namely TU Delft spin-off Pats Indoor Drone Solutions, Blue Radix, Royal Brinkman and Gearbox. The winner of both the entrepreneurial prize and the theme prize will be announced during the Floriade in April.
24 February 2022
Kaumera as biostimulantIn collaboration with various water boards and companies, TU Delft has developed a technology to extract a new biological raw material from wastewater using a sustainable purification technique. The new raw material called Kaumera is a completely natural biopolymer that can be used for various applications, such as for the production of liner and binding agents and seed coatings. This innovation results in 20-35% less sludge waste, less CO2 emission and energy savings of 30-80%. Recently a collaboration between Koppert Biological Systems, Royal Haskoning DHV and ChainCraft has been announced to also use Kaumera as a biostimulant. Read more...
23 February 2022
NEXT Delft opening on 1st of MarchOn the 1st of March the NEXT Delft accelerator building on the TU Delft Campus is due to open for business. The TU Delft Campus ecosystem comprising more than 250 start-ups, scale-ups, businesses, field labs and research institutions is growing strongly. NEXT Delft meets the need of scale-ups to further develop their innovations on the TU Delft Campus. NEXT Delft offers over 10,000 of square meters of space for high-impact companies, scale-ups and fast-growing start-ups to continue to grow their business. Fast-growing start-up Honest AgTech will be one of the first residents of NEXT Delft. Honest AgTech is redefining greenhouse operations with fully autonomous robotic solutions. Read more...
01 February 2022
Increasing the availability of fresh water in coastal areasClimate-proof agriculture in the saline coastal delta of the Netherlands Fresh water is scarce in the Dutch coastal area. Climate change and salinisation are putting freshwater availability under even more pressure. This is a problem for agriculture and horticulture in coastal areas, especially in dry summers. In the AGRICOAST project, led by Boris van Breukelen of TU Delft, a consortium of knowledge institutions, companies and social organisations aims to increase the availability of fresh water in the Dutch coastal area. The project has been awarded a grant of 1.5 million euros from NWO to appoint five PhD students. Read more...
11 November 2021
AgTech Institute Newsletter November 2021Read our latest newsletter here ! Twice a year the TU Delft AgTech Institute sends out a newsletter. In the November 2021 edition you can read about our new colleagues, the GreenTech 2021, the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, AI in strawberry chain, Levels of greenhouse autonomy, Urban Greenhouse Challenge, Events and Short news. If you want to stay up-to-date and get our content immediately, make sure to follow our LinkedIn page .
25 October 2021