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ICRA 2024 - Advancing Sustainable Food Systems through Agri-Robotics Innovations


Conference website: Link

Workshop Objectives

By 2050, the world's population will hit 9.6 billion, necessitating sustainable food systems to manage rising demand and environmental concerns. The fresh food sector, facing fierce competition between supermarket chains and rival competitors and labor expenses, is turning to robots for cost-effective solutions. These robots can handle monotonous and labor-intensive tasks, benefiting agriculture and food production. In particular, using robotic systems as enablers for handling fragile products in the food industry could reduce labor costs, boost productivity, and improve working conditions. Striking a balance between productivity and environmental and ethical stewardship necessitates enhanced interdisciplinary collaborations between industry stakeholders, researchers, and agricultural communities to ensure a sustainable and equitable sound future for the food industry also for low-income countries.
To address these critical issues, this workshop addresses recent robotic tech in the food industry, crucial for meeting food demands and eco-friendliness. It aims to unite early-stage and senior researchers and industry featuring expert talks and as well as opportunities for attendees to share their knowledge and develop new ideas, on enabling robotics in the food sector, fostering innovation, and exploring economic, social, and ethical facets of this field. 

Workshop day: 13th, May, 2024
Time: 9:00 am - 17:00 pm

Topic of interest

Topics of interest to this workshop include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Soft robotics for food manipulation and grasping
  • New materials and smart systems for automating unexplored agricultural applications
  • Learning-based approaches for grasp planning and manipulation
  • Machine vision and deep learning for precision agriculture
  • Enabling technologies for sustainable agriculture
  • Sensing in crop monitoring
  • Economics, ethics, and environmental aspects of robotics in the food industry
  • Sustainable solutions for low-income countries


Programme Committee


09:00 09:10 Welcome and opening remarks
09:10 11:30 Session 1. Food handling from farm-to-consumer through agri-robotics
10:40 11:00 Coffee Break
11:30 12:00 Panel 1. Dialogue with the industry: filling the gap in the market
12:00 12:30 Poster Session
12:30 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 15:50 Session 2. Digital Technologies for sustainable agriculture
15:00 15:20 Coffee Break
15:50 16:50 Panel 2. Perspective on ethical implications and social impact of agri-robotics
16:50 17:00 Closing remarks and Award ceremony

List of speakers

Speaker Affiliation Country
Vito Cacucciolo Omnigrasp Srl Italy
Robert Shepherd Cornell University United States
Ali Leylavi Shoushtari Wageningen Robotics Netherlands
Barbara Mazzolai Italian Institute of Technology Italy
Gert Kootstra Wageningen University and Research The Netherlands
Simon Pearson Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology United Kingdom
Gaëtan Severac Naïo Technologies France
Wilson Ruotolo Hedgehog foods United States
Christoph Hartmann Nestle Research Center Swiss
Dominique Barjolle ETH Swiss
Pablo Valdivia Y Alvarado Singapore University of Technology Singapore
Salah Sukkrieh University of Sidney Australia
Mohamed Sheikh-Ali International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Santiago Santos Valle Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Spain
Jim Ostrowski Blue River Technology United States
Thanasis Mastrogeorgiou TWI Hellas Greece
Takanori Fukao The University of Tokyo Japan

Sponsorship by

  • SoftGrip European Project (GA 101017054)
  • IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Soft Robotics
  • IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Agricultural Robotics and Automation

Organized by