The Portuguese team won a monetary prize of 25,000 euros with VirtuaCrop, a tool that enables farmers to use their phones to take photos of their soil and get an automatic soil analysis report. After taking a photo of a specific area, machine learning algorithms developed from satellite data are applied. The results are calculated in the cloud and shown on the farmer’s smartphone, without the need to perform laboratory tests, or use sensors for the collection of information.
The prototype of the computer application “VirtuaCrop”, which competed with three other European teams, was selected by the jury and announced in Prague, on June 1. The idea was developed by Ricardo Teixeira and Tiago Morais, from the Laboratory for Robotics and Engineering Systems (LARSyS) and had already been distinguished in the first phase of the myEUspace 2022 competition.
The beta version of the app is already available for Android devices and can be ordered by farmers at www.virtuacrop.com. The winning team, which has received support from the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), wants to make “VirtuaCrop” commercial. In future versions, it will be possible to obtain more useful data for farmers in the area of fertilisation and evaluation of the state and productivity of crops.