On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, the inaugural meeting of the collaborating bodies in the framework of the research program “Βελτιστοποίηση καλλιεργειών μανιταριών στην περιοχή της Δυτικής Μακεδονίας με τη χρήση γεωργίας ακριβείας” (SMART – Smart Mushroom Farming with Internet of Things) (act code: ΔΜR1-0016521) was hosted at the premises of the company “TSIARSIOTIS CHRISTOS” (act code: ΔΜR1-0016521).
Mushroom cultivation is considered a difficult undertaking as it requires specialized knowledge and careful conditions for their proper and efficient development. “Smart Farming” assisted by the Internet of Things could prove to be a modern approach to mushroom cultivation. The continuous recording of information through sensors for the observation of cultivation conditions as well as their processing with advanced machine learning algorithms can be important tools in the optimization of the crop in order to increase the quantity and quality of the final product.
The “SMART” project aims to optimize the cultivation of mushrooms in controlled areas and monitor the conditions for developing “wild” mushrooms in free areas. More specifically, the main research objectives of the “SMART” project are the following:
- Development of machine learning algorithms to support decisions in controlled mushroom cultures by monitoring growth conditions.
- Investigation of conditions of mushroom growth in free areas through ground sensors placed in selected points of the Regional Unit of Grevena where mushrooms thrive.
- Detection of mushrooms in free areas using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The detection can be based on mechanical vision algorithms and vegetation indices resulting from the use of multispectral cameras used by UAVs.
- Integration of the individual subsystems of the SMART architecture into Cloud Computing infrastructures.
- Development of a Decision Support System in order to guide the interested party for the optimal cultivation and harvesting of mushrooms in controlled and free areas.
During the program, pilot demonstrations of the Decision Support System will take place, in controlled mushroom crops of the company “TSIARSIOTIS CHRISTOS”, but also in free areas where mushrooms thrive.
The SMART project, which is coordinated by Assistant Professor of the Department of Electrical and Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering of the University of Western Macedonia, Panagiotis Sarigiannidis, is implemented in collaboration with the company “TSIARSIOTIS CHRISTOS” based in the Regional Unit of Grevena.
The SMART programme, with a total budget of € 297,020 and a duration of 24 months, is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the “Περιφερειακού Επιχειρησιακού Προγράμματος Περιφέρειας Δυτικής Μακεδονίας” (ΠΕΠ ΠΔΜ) of the NSRF 2014-2020, and is part of the action “Actions of cooperation and networking between research institutions, educational institutions, and businesses in priority areas of the Region’s smart specialization strategy plan”.