Eurotech, a provider of embedded systems and a Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) enablement, announced that AVR, potato harvester manufacturer based in Belgium, has chosen the ReliaGATE family of intelligent edge computers running Eurotech’s Everyware Software Framework and Everyware Cloud to manage the edge devices for its smart agriculture project to connect its harvesting machinery.
These IoT building blocks are integrated by AVR partner delaware with an MS Azure-based IoT platform that gathers, analyses and visualises data from sensors on tractors and other farming vehicles. With a showcase version up and running, AVR plans to release the platform for end users later in 2018, gathering market feedback to drive the development of new capabilities. No financial information has been disclosed.
AVR has a decades-long history in the field of potato agriculture, designing and manufacturing harvesters, planters and cultivators. It’s a niche market, but they are one of the world’s biggest players, exporting equipment to every continent. However, even a traditional industry like agriculture is being impacted by emerging IT innovations.
“Agriculture adopts new tech relatively slowly compared to other sectors. But the key words ‘smart farming’ and ‘precision agriculture’ are cropping up more and more often,” explains AVR IoT manager Koen Uyttenhove. “We realised that in order to maintain our competitive edge and meet changing demands, we’d have to change our business strategy.”
In the past, AVR focused much more on the mechanical side of agriculture. “Now, our goal is to develop smarter machines with many more sensors and use the data we collect to bring value and transparency to stakeholders along the entire value chain as an add-on to our core offer of high-quality machinery,” he continues.
“As for the future, we’re dreaming big,” Koen asserts. “In addition to taking the state-of-the-art to a higher level, we want to explore other technologies such as the use of predictive analytics and image analysis to predict the quality and size of the crop.”
But at the end of the day, AVR firmly intends to focus on producing quality machines. “Although these research projects are important to us and we are interested in providing some very specific software solutions, we are, above all, electromechanical experts and potato fans,” Koen finishes.