Special Issue "Applied Agri-Technologies 2"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2022 | Viewed by 6193

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Dimitrios Kateris
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Bio-Economy and Agri-Technology (iBO), Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH), 38333 Volos, Greece
Interests: agricultural engineering; agricultural robotics; artificial intelligence; condition monitoring; condition monitoring bearings; fault diagnosis; operations management; vibration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Dionysis Bochtis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture plays a vital role in the global economy, with the majority of the rural population in developing countries depending on it. The depletion of natural resources makes the improvement of agricultural production more important but also more difficult than ever. In this context, effective interventions in agriculture are essential for the fulfilment of its vital role, which is to maintain rural social and economic stability within sustainable development. The extensive use of applied agri-technologies results in productivity improvement and better resource use and reduces the time needed for farm management, marketing, logistics, and quality assurance.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish research papers, as well as review articles, addressing recent advances on systems and processes in the field of applied agri-technologies. Original, high-quality contributions that have not yet been published and that are not currently under review by other journals or peer-reviewed conferences are sought. Indicatively, research topics include:

  • Robotics and automation in agriculture;
  • Machine-embedded ICT tools,
  • Internet of Things (IoT) in agri-food production and agri-food chains;
  • Remote sensing and GIS applications;
  • AI applications in agriculture;
  • Decision support systems for agriculture;
  • ICT applications for precision farming;
  • Traceability and agri-food chains systems;
  • Big data and data mining for agricultural information systems;
  • Sustainability aspects (environmental-social) of new technologies in agriculture.  

Dr. Dimitrios Kateris
Prof. Dr. Dionysis Bochtis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agri-robotics
  • traceability
  • farm management information system (FMIS)
  • precision farming
  • agri-technologies sustainability
  • ICT applications
  • agricultural logistics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • GIS applications
  • remote sensing

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
An Integrated Real-Time Hand Gesture Recognition Framework for Human–Robot Interaction in Agriculture
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(16), 8160; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12168160 - 15 Aug 2022
Viewed by 162
Abstract
Incorporating hand gesture recognition in human–robot interaction has the potential to provide a natural way of communication, thus contributing to a more fluid collaboration toward optimizing the efficiency of the application at hand and overcoming possible challenges. A very promising field of interest [...] Read more.
Incorporating hand gesture recognition in human–robot interaction has the potential to provide a natural way of communication, thus contributing to a more fluid collaboration toward optimizing the efficiency of the application at hand and overcoming possible challenges. A very promising field of interest is agriculture, owing to its complex and dynamic environments. The aim of this study was twofold: (a) to develop a real-time skeleton-based recognition system for five hand gestures using a depth camera and machine learning, and (b) to enable a real-time human–robot interaction framework and test it in different scenarios. For this purpose, six machine learning classifiers were tested, while the Robot Operating System (ROS) software was utilized for “translating” the gestures into five commands to be executed by the robot. Furthermore, the developed system was successfully tested in outdoor experimental sessions that included either one or two persons. In the last case, the robot, based on the recognized gesture, could distinguish which of the two workers required help, follow the “locked” person, stop, return to a target location, or “unlock” them. For the sake of safety, the robot navigated with a preset socially accepted speed while keeping a safe distance in all interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Article
Design and Evaluation of a Shaping and Pruning Machine for Dwarf and Densely Planted Jujube Trees
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2699; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052699 - 04 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
A shaping and pruning machine for jujube trees was developed in this study to address the difficulties of high intensity and low efficiency of artificial pruning for dwarf and densely planted jujube trees in Xinjiang. The key components of the machine were designed [...] Read more.
A shaping and pruning machine for jujube trees was developed in this study to address the difficulties of high intensity and low efficiency of artificial pruning for dwarf and densely planted jujube trees in Xinjiang. The key components of the machine were designed according to the growth information and pruning technical requirements of jujube trees. Additionally, the structural and working parameters of components or parts were determined. Then, utilizing the forward speed of the machine, cutter rotation speed, and cutter diameter as influencing variables, and the missed pruning rate and stubble breakage rate as evaluation indexes, a quadratic regression orthogonal test with three factors and three levels was constructed. Meanwhile, analyses of variance and response surface were conducted to establish mathematical regression models of influencing factors and evaluation indexes, and the influence of significant factors on response indexes was analyzed. The test results were optimized, and the optimal parameter combination was obtained as follows: the rotation speed of the cutter was 2300 r/min, the diameter of the cutter was 250 mm, and the forward speed was 0.3 m/s. Then, field validation tests were conducted according to the optimal parameter combination. The results showed that the average values of the missed pruning rate and stubble breakage rate for the machine were 5.46% and 5.01%, respectively. The results indicated that the operation of the shaping and pruning machine met technical requirements for pruning jujube trees. This research contributes to rapid shaping and pruning operations in large-scale orchards of dwarf and densely planted jujube trees, which is conducive to promoting the whole mechanization management of jujube gardens in Xinjiang. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Biomechanical Effects on Lower Extremities in Human-Robot Collaborative Agricultural Tasks
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11742; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411742 - 10 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
The present study pertains to a key aspect of human-robot collaborative systems which is usually underestimated, namely occupational health prolepsis. The aim of this investigation was to assess the biomechanical effects of manual symmetric load lifting related to a synergistic agricultural task that [...] Read more.
The present study pertains to a key aspect of human-robot collaborative systems which is usually underestimated, namely occupational health prolepsis. The aim of this investigation was to assess the biomechanical effects of manual symmetric load lifting related to a synergistic agricultural task that utilizes an unmanned ground vehicle to undertake the carriage of loads. Towards that goal, kinetic and kinematic data were collected from the lower extremities of thirteen experienced workers, by testing three different deposit heights (70, 80, 90 cm) corresponding to possible adjustments of the available agricultural robot. Moreover, the muscle activation levels of three lower extremity muscles and one trunk muscle were evaluated via a wireless electromyography system. Overall, the experimental findings revealed that the lower examined load height was associated with larger knee flexion moments and hip extension moments. Nevertheless, this height was related to lower activation mainly of the erectus spinae muscles. Finally, insignificant alterations were observed for the ankle joint as well as the activation levels of the other muscles. Consequently, a height equal to 90 cm is suggested, however, by avoiding extreme lumbar postures. The current results can be exploited for possible ergonomic interventions concerning the optimal deposit height of a robotic platform when a similar case is designed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bridging the Gaps in Traceability Systems for Fresh Produce Supply Chains: Overview and Development of an Integrated IoT-Based System
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7596; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11167596 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1291
Abstract
Traceability, namely the ability to access information about a product and its movement across all stages of the supply chain, has been emerged as a key criterion of a product’s quality and safety. Managing fresh products, such as fruits and vegetables, is a [...] Read more.
Traceability, namely the ability to access information about a product and its movement across all stages of the supply chain, has been emerged as a key criterion of a product’s quality and safety. Managing fresh products, such as fruits and vegetables, is a particularly complicated task, since they are perishable with short shelf lives and are vulnerable to environmental conditions. This makes traceability of fresh produce very significant. The present study provides a brief overview of the relative literature on fresh produce traceability systems. It was concluded that the commercially available traceability systems usually neither cover the entire length of the supply chain nor rely on open and transparent interoperability standards. Therefore, a user-friendly open access traceability system is proposed for the development of an integrated solution for traceability and agro-logistics of fresh products, focusing on interoperability and data sharing. Various Internet of Things technologies are incorporated and connected to the web, while an android-based platform enables the monitoring of the quality of fruits and vegetables throughout the whole agri-food supply chain, starting from the field level to the consumer and back to the field. The applicability of the system, named AgroTRACE, is further extended to waste management, which constitutes an important aspect of a circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
FruiTemp: Design, Implementation and Analysis for an Open-Source Temperature Logger Applied to Fruit Fly Host Experimentation
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 6003; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11136003 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1093
Abstract
FruiTemp is an open-source prototype developed to study the response of endophytic insect species such as fruit flies (Diptera: Tephrtidae) to variable temperature conditions including the controlled laboratory and fluctuating field settings. The system is a three-channel temperature sensor that consists of two [...] Read more.
FruiTemp is an open-source prototype developed to study the response of endophytic insect species such as fruit flies (Diptera: Tephrtidae) to variable temperature conditions including the controlled laboratory and fluctuating field settings. The system is a three-channel temperature sensor that consists of two precision thermistors that measure the temperature in the core and the surface of a fruit on a tree and a Harsh Environment thermistor that measures the air temperature surrounding the host at a rate of one measurement per 15 min. The sample rate can be adjusted according to the researcher’s needs. The system was successfully tested in field and laboratory experimental conditions using apples as the fruit model. The measurements on apples on trees lasted five consecutive days and produced a range of reliable data. After assessing statistical agreement and precision, the results revealed a differential bias of 0.331 °C and a proportional bias of a magnitude of 0.982. This work promotes open-source implementations allowing inexpensive solutions aiding experimentation procedures by significantly lowering operating costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Advisory and Knowledge Transfer Tool for Ammonia Emission Mitigation on Pig Farms in Hungary
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5970; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135970 - 27 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 703
Abstract
The Ammonia Gas Emission Model for Swine (AGEM-S), a nitrogen flow model, was created with the objective of assisting in the reduction of ammonia emissions in the Hungarian pig sector. Regarding the applied technological processes and considering the factors that influence ammonia emissions, [...] Read more.
The Ammonia Gas Emission Model for Swine (AGEM-S), a nitrogen flow model, was created with the objective of assisting in the reduction of ammonia emissions in the Hungarian pig sector. Regarding the applied technological processes and considering the factors that influence ammonia emissions, the model quantifies the amount of ammonia emissions of pig farming in all stages (feeding, housing technology, manure storage, and application in the field). The aim of the project was to create a system that performs general calculations using the input data used by practicing farmers, without compromising the information content of the output data. Using this system, the input parameters can be entered as simply as possible and in the shortest possible time. In addition to demonstrating the impact of ammonia emission reduction measures to farmers from an integrated N management approach, AGEM-S has the potential to support the transfer of emission reduction technologies and practices at the farm level as a knowledge transfer tool primarily, but also as a decision support tool for technological change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Low-Cost Wireless Sensing System for Precision Agriculture Applications in Orchards
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5858; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135858 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can be reliable tools in agricultural management. In this work, a low cost, low power consumption, and simple wireless sensing system dedicated for agricultural environments is presented. The system is applicable to small to medium sized fields, located anywhere [...] Read more.
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can be reliable tools in agricultural management. In this work, a low cost, low power consumption, and simple wireless sensing system dedicated for agricultural environments is presented. The system is applicable to small to medium sized fields, located anywhere with cellular network coverage, even in isolated rural areas. The novelty of the developed system lies in the fact that it uses a dummy device as Coordinator which through simple but advanced programming can receive, process, and send data packets from all End-nodes to the cloud via a 4G cellular network. Furthermore, it is energy independent, using solar energy harvesting panels, making it feasible to operate in remote, isolated fields. A star topology was followed for the sake of simplification, low energy demands and increased network reliability. The developed system was tested and evaluated in laboratory and real field environment with satisfactory operation in terms of independence, and operational reliability concerning packet losses, communication range (>250 m covering fields up to 36 ha), energy autonomy, and uninterrupted operation. The network can support up to seven nodes in a 30 min data acquisition cycle. These results confirmed the potential of this system to serve as a viable option for monitoring environmental, soil, and crop parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Agri-Technologies 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop