CoRoSect’s journey: From end-users needs to use cases and pilots

Insect farms have been among the last fields to undergo a digital revolution, but changes are happening, and they will be reflected in productivity boosts, increased quality, and reduction of production costs.  In order to create a paradigm shift in insect farming with state-of-the-art robotic solutions, CoRoSect partners have made significant strides, like setting up 8 use cases for piloting, to test and validate CoRoSect technologies. But before that, all partners made sure that end-user needs are a starting point for the proper preparation of the use cases. Based on the multi-instrumental analysis, 5 types of use cases were extracted:

● Quality Management and Intervention
● Oviposition Management
● Larvae/Cricket Management
● Pupation Management
● Harvesting/Waste Management

8 use cases have been designed and chosen for piloting, to test and validate CoRoSect technologies. The following approach was used to choose 8 scenarios:

In order to define the functionalities and technologies of the CoRoSect system, extensive information on insect rearing of the insects Tenebrio Molitor, Hermetia Illucens, and Acheta Domesticus was collected. The gathered data detected specific information and requirements from final users, which are of great significance for the project. This has facilitated the definition of system architecture for CoRoSect system implementation.

Furthermore, technical characteristics and boundaries for mechatronic solutions in the CoRoSect project were presented for each species in the following structure:

• Life cycle and physiology
• Production requirements
• Farming operations, including Key Performance Indicators for the different production areas.

It is of great importance to pinpoint the fact that partners have engaged in process of technical requirements and technology implementation for the CoRoSect Area including software management and the different cyber components that will interact with human operators.

Based on CoRoSect’s initial objectives and functional requirements extracted from the use cases (specific insect-rearing tasks) and scenarios (end users’ farms), the first CoRoSect Reference Architecture (CoRoSect RA) was established. This architecture identifies and interlinks the CoRoSect components and defines the tiers and functionalities that guide the integration of the final CoRoSect System.

The following components have been defined:

  • The logical implementation of the CoRoSect system (in its first version) defines the communications and relationships between components inside a layer and between the OT/IT layers.
  • The CoRoSect process view
  • The CoRoSect development view

These different views of the CoRoSect System Architecture have been done according to the  RAMI4.0 guidelines to define a novel architecture Industry 4.0 compliant.

It is of great importance to highlight the fact that the focus has been on the development of the structure from motion and the Decision Support System, where current work is being done on the design of the Unified Modeling Language diagrams for both systems. This will make it easier to develop associated software. Currently, the definition of the graphical interface to communicate all the cyber-physical components of the system and their implementation is being established. The result of this work will allow CoRoSect to offer a light and configurable Information Management System that optimizes the workflows in the d-cell of each farm.

The development and planning of the d-cell workspace for each of the farms are of the essence. To properly organize the planning and preparation of the pilots, the technological users and the designated farms are working closely together. All efforts are being made to provide a definitive solution for installing the d-cell in each farm and simulating the specific pilots in each situation.