The VDL Groep and Bosman Van Zaal from Aalsmeer in the Netherlands are joining forces for the market introduction of the CropTeq leaf cutting robot, an innovative robot that will be available for high-wire cucumber growers shortly. This robot will initially focus on labour-intensive leaf cutting for cucumber plants but will be further developed in the coming years for other crops and more autonomous applications.
Combining knowledge and skills
In addition to sharing knowledge and expertise, the collaboration focuses on the better application and use of data and robotization in high-wire cultivation. At VDL, various systems are being developed that relate to autonomous cultivation. The shared mission, knowledge and network of VDL and Bosman Van Zaal come together in the form of GreenPEAK-IT, a sister organization of the Aalsmeer horticultural specialist, which is also responsible for the sale and installation of the new cutting robot. GreenPEAK-IT emerged from a research project by Bosman Van Zaal and, due to high expectations, was continued in December 2020 as an independent entity with specific knowledge of energy-efficient and autonomous cultivation.
VDL CropTeq Robotics in greenhouse horticulture
As an international industrial family business, VDL is active in the development, production and sale of supplies, buses and end products and the assembly of passenger cars. VDL is responding to the tight labour market in horticulture and is rationalizing labour-intensive activities with the realization of the innovative CropTeq robot platform in collaboration with Bosman Van Zaal. For example, with VDL CropTeq Robotics, VDL focuses on the pursuit of autonomous robotics within high-quality greenhouse horticulture, replacing labour-intensive activities with high-quality AI-driven robotics. The smart AI vision, which can be trained by the grower, the high robot speed with collision control, the patented end effector that can cut on all sides of the plant and the compact platform that will eventually harvest cucumbers, make it a special innovation.
High-quality greenhouse horticulture
Bosman Van Zaal is closely involved in the start-up of its sister organization GreenPEAK-IT. This company is able to unlock and make available all data generated within and around high-quality greenhouse cultivation using the PEAK data platform and has the ultimate goal of making digital predictions based on Machine Learning on Big Agri Data. For example, GreenPEAK-IT focuses on the pursuit of autonomy within high-quality international greenhouse cultivation in order to enable an autonomously controlled greenhouse in the long term.