Does autonomy improve the environmental impacts of agricultural robots? The case of vineyard weeding robots - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2023

Does autonomy improve the environmental impacts of agricultural robots? The case of vineyard weeding robots

Abstract

In France, the Ecophyto II+ program aims to reduce pesticide use in agriculture by 50% by 2025. Viticulture, as well as other crops, has to develop alternative solutions to chemical weed control. These alternatives can be achieved by mechanical weeding either using tractors or weeding robots. An initial Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study conducted in 2022 showed that scenarios using weeding robots for intra row management have either greater or lower environmental impacts than conventional ones depending on the impacts considered. This paper aims to present the updated LCA results of vineyard weeding practices with respect to two main improvements identified from the first study: (i) the transition to operating a robot with and without human intervention, (ii) the updated Life Cycle Inventory of agricultural tractors in order to have a fairer comparison with agricultural robots. The main results show:-a drastic reduction of acidification, eutrophication and photochemical oxidation impacts due to the depollution system of the agricultural tractor in the updated LCI-an increase of mineral depletion and terrestrial ecotoxicity impacts due to the sensors and electronic components of the agricultural tractor in the updated LCI-a decrease of all environmental impacts when the robot is operated in autonomous mode These results show the added value of conducting a LCA in order to improve agricultural robot and tractor ecodesign. However, there are still methodological challenges to face with regards to the additional services and functions provided by robots that question the LCA methodology (such as increased security, less soil compaction).
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hal-04250152 , version 1 (19-10-2023)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04250152 , version 1

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Marilys Pradel, Lucas Mastromatteo, Maeve Malone, Cédric Seguineau. Does autonomy improve the environmental impacts of agricultural robots? The case of vineyard weeding robots. AGRITECH DAY The conference of innovations and solutions for efficient and sustainable agriculture 6TH EDITION, AXEMA, Oct 2023, Rennes, France. ⟨hal-04250152⟩
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