Bioproduction Systems Engineering

Development of bio-production machines and facilities, and robot use

Staff

Mitsuji MONTA
  • Prof. MONTA Mitsuji
  • E-mail:monta@(@cc.okayama-u.ac.jp)
  • Agricultural engineering, agricultural robot and sensing system

> See detail
Kazuhiko_NANBA
  • Assoc. Prof. NAMBA Kazuhiko
  • E-mail:kaz@(@okayama-u.ac.jp)
  • Agricultural mechanics, speaking plant approach

> See detail

Research Topics

In preparation for the serious labor shortages and other problems facing Japanese agriculture in the near future, our laboratory is focusing on the following subcategories, based on a system engineering approach. An agricultural robot contributes to the automation and labor saving of biological production. A plant factory proposes new agriculture in an optimal environment based on the measurement of living organisms. A smart agriculture is a navigation system based on big data such as farm environment and yield. Of course, we also deal with other agricultural issues in general.

Agricultural robot

Expectations for agricultural robots are increasing as an ace card for labor shortage. The commercialization of robot tractors, rice transplanters, combine harvesters, etc. that support unmanned or highly advanced operations is already in the process of being introduced into the field. On the other hand, robots involved in the selective harvesting of fruits and vegetables are highly labor-saving and have great demand in the field, but many issues to be solved are remained. One of them is collaborative work with humans, and ensuring safety is especially important.

figure1

Hand part of the tomato harvesting robot

Plant factory

Since it is a plant factory that controls the environment to produce, it also includes a greenhouse in a broad sense, and we have long been able to obtain fresh vegetables throughout the year by its benefits. The optimization of the environment, which has expanded the possibilities with artificial lighting and solution cultivation, is continuing to develop not only from the viewpoint of plant growth, but also from various viewpoints such as energy, the surrounding environment, the working environment and the production of useful substances. Moreover, not only plants but also mushrooms are subject to plant factories, and growth can be controlled depending on the environment.

figure2

Production of different sizes fruits bodies by environmental control for fungus bed cultivation Shiitake

Smart agriculture

Smart agriculture includes the above-mentioned agricultural robots and plant factories, but the essence is to utilize information effectively. The focus has been mainly on information gathering as precision agriculture. However, it was difficult for humans to understand and utilize a huge amount of information. AI is good at associating this big data. But it is necessary to accurately raise problems and set goals in order for AI to play an active role. We intervene in problem interpretation for AI to solve.

figure3

Visualization of water movement in the field after irrigation
(10 m x 10 m, depth 0.5 m)

Publication List

  • Kenta SHIGEMATSU, Sadayuki TAKAYAMA, Kazuhiko NAMBA, Development of High Speed Ridge Forming Seeder for Soybeans Adapted to Moist Soil Conditions ―Investigations of Seeding Mechanism for Soybean Seeds Coated with Insecticide and Fungicide―, Journal of the Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery and Food Engineers, 82 (2), 129-137, 2020.
  • Kenta SHIGEMATSU, Yuichi YAMADA, Takashi GOTOH, Kazuhiko NAMBA, Development of High Speed Ridge Forming Seeder for Soybeans Adapting to Moist Soil Conditions ─Study of Disk Cultivation Ridging and Seeding Mechanism─, Journal of the Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery and Food Engineers, 81 (2), 104-111, 2019.
  • Yasuaki Kashino, Fumio Myokai, Kazuhiko Namba, Mitsuji Monta, Hiroshi Kanzaki, Development of Energy-saving Ventilation System Considering Inside and Outside Temperatures of a Sawdust-based Shiitake Cultivation Facility, Journal of the Japanese Society of Taste Technology, 16 (2), 4-12, 2018.
  • Kumiko Fujii , Kazuhiko Namba , Naoko Matsumoto, Study of glutinous barley flour utilization for rice bread, The Reserch Sosiety for Science of Dietary Habits, 37 (3), 142-148, 2017.
  • Yasuaki Kashino, Fumio Myokai, Kazuhiko Namba, Mitsuji Monta, Hiroshi Kanzaki, Effects of the Cultivation Stage Temperature and CO2 Concentration on the Sawdust-based Culture Shiitake Yield, Journal of the Japanese Society of Taste Technology, 15 (1), 5-11 2016.
  • Kumiko Fujii, Kazuhiko Namba, Study of Bread Making Process Properties using Impact Crushing Milled Rice Flour ― Relativity of Physical Properties and Sensory Evaluation ―, Journal of the Japanese Society of Taste Technology, 14 (1), 19-27, 2015.
  • Mitsuji Monta, Kazuhiko Namba, Mobile Quality Evaluation Robot for Making Agricultural Products Traceable, International Journal of Automation Technology, 8 (2), 238-242, 2014.
  • Kumiko Fujii, Mitsuji Monta, Kazuhiko Namba, A Study of the Properties of Bread Made from Rice Flour Produced by Impact Crushing ― The Effects of Rice Flour Particle Size and Fermentation Conditions on Expansion Properties ―, Journal of the Japanese Society of Taste Technology, 11 (1), 20-28 2012.
  • Kumiko Fujii, Shimpei Ohta, Mitsuji Monta, Kazuhiko Namba, A Study of the Properties of Bread Made from Rice Flour Produced by Impact Crushing ― The Effects of Rice Flour Particle Size, Secondary Fermentation Time and Baking Temperature on Bread Quality―, Journal of the Japanese Society of Taste Technology, 11 (1), 29-37 2012.