Following the success of the 5th edition of FIRA last December, GOFAR, the association for the promotion of agricultural robotics, decided to organize a FIRA Open Day on April 15. This was an opportunity for the entire industry to gather again around a free virtual event, and to discover the major new features for 2021-2022. FIRA becomes World FIRA and will be organized in a hybrid format from December 7 to 9, 2021 – and a FIRA USA 2022 will be held in California in the spring.
FIRA Open Day 2021: the American market and machine automation from John Deere, AGCO, and CNH Industrial
The FIRA Open Day brought together 1000 participants last April 15 to discover new agricultural robot demos and presentations (Monarch Tractor, Earth Rover, Ambit Robotics, Naio Technologies, SITIA, VitiBot…).
It was also an opportunity to explore the state-of-the-art of automation projects of the main tractor manufacturers, with the participation of Kent Brown, Senior Product Manager – Harvesting Automation at John Deere, Andrew Sunderman, Senior Manager, Global Farming Solutions at AGCO Corporation, and Brett McClelland, Product Manager – Precision Agriculture from CNH Industrial (in a debate led by David Frabotta from the American agricultural media group Meister Media).
Finally, a roundtable provided an update on the progress, needs, and challenges of agricultural robot development in the United States. Around the table were gathered Praveen Penmetsa, CEO of Monarch Tractor, Gabriel Youtsey, CIO of the University of California, Walt Duflock, VP of innovation of Western Growers and Alain Pincot, director of Betteravia Farms (in a debate led by Julie Peyrache, Investment Manager for the CAPAGRO investment fund).
World FIRA 2021, December 7 – 9: one hybrid event, two experiences
As the health situation tends to offer better days for on-site events, FIRA plans to reopen to the public in Toulouse (France), while keeping its virtual event as its main format: all in parallel over 3 days of conferences, demos, exhibitions, and business.
The idea behind this virtual format is to offer a double experience to the participants, that is, the possibility to choose to participate online-only, or also in person. They will be able to plan business meetings in advance and enjoy the double experience, with their meetings held directly on-site, or by videoconference with a participant on the other side of the world. As for the speeches, most of them will take place in the amphitheaters of the Congress Center, and will be broadcast live on the online platform.
The theme of this 6th edition, “When the farmers take over robots!” addresses the current challenges of the sector. The objective is to make the farmer an active participant in the reception of his robots from their design to their handling and to meet concretely his daily needs. FIRA USA 2022, in partnership with the University of California and the United States, (particularly California) represent a market that is both mature and sufficiently technophile to support the growth of agricultural robotics.
This is one of the reasons why FIRA chose this part of the world for its first regional edition. With numerous locally-based partners, such as WGA – Growers Western, many manufacturers and producers, and agricultural media, GOFAR consolidated ties with the University of California, the local operator, and co-organizer of FIRA USA 2022 which should be held on-site in March 2022.