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Field day set to be a 'RIPPA'

Hort Innovation, the University of Sydney and Greater Sydney Local Land Services invite local vegetable growers to see a demonstration of RIPPATM (Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application) on 1 December, at the Greater Sydney Demonstration Farm in Richmond.

Created through the Horticulture Innovation Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems in the University of Sydney’s internationally-recognised Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), RIPPA aims to benefit the vegetable industry by undertaking a number of farming activities autonomously.

The aim of RIPPA is to reduce farm input costs such as labour and fertiliser, as well as improve marketable yield of vegetables. The development of the robot is being led by University of Sydney’s Professor Salah Sukkarieh, Director of Research and Innovation at the ACFR.

“Automation allows real improvements in farm productivity and efficiency. This can include reducing input costs such as chemicals through only applying it to the plants that need it, or being able to continuously operate after workers would have usually gone home for the day”, Professor Sukkarieh said.

RIPPA will be operating on a lettuce crop at the Greater Sydney Demonstration Farm to trial and demonstrate current capabilities of the platform.  “This is a great opportunity to see RIPPA in action and talk to the team behind its development,” said Peter Conasch, Greater Sydney Senior Land Services Officer (mixed farming).

Growers and anyone interested are invited to attend the workshop on Friday, 1 December, kicking off with a free BBQ lunch from 12pm and the demonstration from 1pm to 2.30pm.

To RSVP email Renee Pearson or phone 02 4724 2121.

The event is part of the Greater Sydney Local Land Services VegNET NSW project which is funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable levy and funding from the federal government.

For further information, visit http://horticulture.com.au/research-levy/research-levy-hicris/ or http://confluence.acfr.usyd.edu.au/display/AGPub/

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrath, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755