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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


Tentative Schedule in Japan Standard Time (JST)


Welcome and opening remarks



Session 1. Food handling from farm-to-consumer through agri-robotics

Moderated by Marija Popović and Niccolò Pagliarani


Cyrill Stachniss, Bonn University



Robert Shepherd (ONLINE), Cornell University

Advanced materials for enduring robots for agriculture


Thanasis Mastrogeorgiou, TWI Hellas

Computer vision for automatized harvesting


Coffee Break



Pablo Valdivia Y Alvarado, Singapore University of Technology

Multimodal Soft Grippers


Panel 1. Dialogue with the industry: filling the gap in the market

Moderated by Shinichi Hirai and Martina Maselli


Wilson Ruotolo, Hedgehog foods

The market for robotic mushroom farms


Vito Cacucciolo, Omnigrasp

OmniGrasp pitch


Francesco Ferro, PAL Robotics

PAL Robotics pitch


Final discussion



Poster Session



Lunch Break



Session 2. Digital Technologies for sustainable agriculture

Moderated by Matteo Cianchetti and Niccolò Pagliarani


Salah Sukkrieh, University of Sidney

Autonomous Systems for Sustainable Agriculture – Livestock Example


Barbara Mazzolai, Italian Institute of Technology

Plant-seed-like robots for precision agriculture


Takanori Fukao, The University of Tokyo

Automated Agricultural Robot Systems: From Harvest to Transportation


Coffee Break



Gert Kootstra, Wageningen University and Research

Robust and active perception of agri-robots


Panel 2. Perspective on ethical implications and social impact of agri-robotics

Moderated by Josie Hughes and Martina Maselli


Santiago Santos Valle (ONLINE), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Agri-robotic solutions for low-income countries


Simon Pearson (ONLINE), Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology

Responsible development of robotics in agriculture


Andrea Bertolini, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna

Regulation of AI and Robotics in Agri-Food


Final discussion



Closing remarks and Award ceremony

Moderated by all organizers


Call for contributions

Contributions should be submitted in the form of max 2-page extended abstract in IEEE Standard US letter format. Authors are encouraged to also submit an optional 1-minute video presentation of their paper. Contributions cannot take the form of an existing paper that is published or under review elsewhere. Novel results, on-going works, large scale projects and conceptual papers are welcome.

The review process is single-blind. The authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their results in a poster session during the workshop, which will be held in-person. Authors are expected to print out and bring their own posters to the workshop. Recommended format is A0 (portrait). There is no specific template for the posters. The papers should be submitted through this link in PDF format.

All accepted contributions will not be included in ICRA proceedings but will be published in a publicly accessible folder on the workshop website.

The evaluation committee will assign two best poster presentation awards:

  • “Best soft robotics solution for agri-tech”, 500 $ prize award, sponsored by IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Soft Robotics
  • “Best sustainable robotic solution”, 500 $ prize award, sponsored by IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Agricultural Robotics and Automation.

Award ceremony will be held at the end of the workshop.


Important deadlines

Paper Submission Deadline*: 31 March 2024, 23:59pm Pacific Time - 12 April 2024, 23:59pm Pacific Time

Notification of Acceptance 15 April 2024

*deadline extension


For any questions regarding the submissions process, please contact: and

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