With IntellIoT, the European Commission has embarked on an €8 million project which will execute semi-autonomous IoT applications for AI-enabled systems. TTControl is leading the agricultural use case of the project, which focuses on semi-autonomous behavior of farming vehicles and the tactile human-machine interaction.
The global population is expected to grow by 2 billion to a total of 9.7 billion by 2050 according to the UN. Increasing agricultural productivity and sustainable food production is critical to provide this population with food. Smart farming achieved through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can create higher precision agriculture to help meet this demand.
“Highly autonomous farming machinery will enable a more efficient and sustainable way of working and contribute to securing the global food supply,” says Manfred Prammer, Managing Director of TTControl. “In the project’s vision of smart farming, the machine will take over more and more tasks automatically while significantly increasing efficiency. As an integral part of the system, the machine operator will be able to control several machines at once remotely.”
At the core of the agricultural project is the development of a framework for an intelligent IoT environment in agriculture. This will be based around the prototype of an electrically operated tractor. The project consortium will investigate the integration of computation, communication and interaction technologies into this platform to allow semi-autonomous operation.
TTControl will provide electronic controller and communication technology for the electronic architecture and the human-machine interaction. The tractor will be further equipped with multiple cameras to create a 360-degree view, allowing the operator to acquire a complete virtual image of the area surrounding the vehicle. This can be facilitated with smart glasses, for example. Additionally, 5G communication networks will be investigated for the human-machine interaction, to establish remote navigation of the farming vehicle. Test scenarios will include trustworthy semiautonomous operation of the e-tractor and secure human-machine interaction in case of unexpected situations.
“We are happy to advance this project with sophisticated TTControl technologies to take the next step towards smart farming,” says Manfred Prammer. “Together with the project partners we are excited to collect concrete findings that will bring the industry forward when applied in real life.”
As the leader of the agriculture use case, TTControl will investigate the use of high-end control units for the semi-autonomous control of agricultural vehicles and the functionality to exchange information between the vehicles and the human operator in a secure and reliable manner. TTControl will test and evaluate the developments within the use case scenarios and will lead the tasks of use case specification and open call definition and the exploitation and impact building activities.
Apart from agriculture, IntellIoT will foster the creation of IoT solutions applicable to manufacturing and healthcare, while fomenting an ecosystem united by a shared vision committed to privacy, security and trust, in which the intelligence of humans and devices can seamlessly intertwine. The aim is to overcome limitations of the traditional cloud-centric IoT such as unreliable connectivity, privacy concerns, or high round-trip times.
The IntellIoT project comprises a consortium of 13 partners spread across nine countries, coordinated by Siemens AG: EURECOM, Aalborg University, University of Oulu, TTControl GmbH, Telecommunication Systems Institute, Technical University of Crete, Philips, Sphynx Analytics Ltd., University of St. Gallen, Holo-Industrie 4.0 Software GmbH, AVL Commercial Driveline & Tractor Engineering GmbH, Startup Colors UG as well as University General Hospital of Heraklion.
This project has received funding from the European Community’s H2020 program under grant agreement no. 957218.