A horizontal UV-C robot to fight against mildew (Bremia lactucae) and Botrytis in lettuce

A horizontal UV-C robot arm has been developed

A prototype of a horizontal UV-C robot has been constructed at PSKW to apply UV-C light to lettuce. The robot is attached on the heating tubes of the greenhouse (see pictures) and is four-wheel driven. The motor of the robot (JVL-MIS 340) can be programmed with the software Mactalk. Different speeds can be programmed and a timer allows the robot to work at a specific time. This way, the robot works completely automated, i.e. overnight and at different speeds to ensure different UV-C doses.

The following link shows a video of the robot overnight operating at different speeds: https://www.proefstation.be/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/VID-20181031-WA0000_nacht.mp4. The UV-C lamps warm-up during two minutes to reach full capacity. Thereafter the UV-robots drive at different speeds; the lamps are turned off for the reference treatment without UV-C light. After applying  the UV-C treatments, the robots return to their initial position.


First experiments on lettuce have started

The first experiments on lettuce with the horizontal UV-C robot have started. In these exploratory experiments several UV-C doses are tested (0, 3, 6, 10, 15, 20 mJ/cm²) to have an indication of doses which are preventive and/or curative against mildew (Bremia lactucae) and Botrytis, or of doses which are harmful to the plant.

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