AI-Enabled Robotics Revolutionizing EU’s PV Energy and Agriculture Sectors

In the dynamic world of technology where artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of our everyday lives, an innovative EU-funded project, TALOS, is set to revolutionize the way we interact with robots. The project aims to introduce AI-powered autonomous robotics solutions in the photovoltaic (PV) energy and agriculture sectors, automating the laborious, hazardous, and mundane tasks typically performed by humans in the operation and maintenance (O&M) of PV plants.

The TALOS project was officially unveiled in mid-October at EDP headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. The consortium is led by EDP NEW and includes 13 partners from seven European countries. These partners bring a wealth of expertise in diverse fields such as renewable energy, engineering, robotics, AI, electronics, social science, and societal outreach and communication.

The inception meeting of TALOS was marked by a series of presentations detailing the proposed advancements of the project. There was also a virtual tour of a TALOS demonstration pilot and a business innovation workshop. This workshop identified the internal and external stakeholders involved in each pilot and the PV O&M activities where human-robot interactions occur.

TALOS is developing robotic solutions specifically tailored for three unique PV energy scenarios: land-based, floating, and agriPV. Beyond these planned developments, TALOS has also earmarked 1.8M€ for an open call to challenge European SMEs and start-ups. The goal is to encourage them to create innovative O&M solutions that leverage robotics, AI, data management, and coding within the context of the three previously mentioned PV scenarios.

Daniel Albuquerque, Project Coordinator for TALOS, expressed his satisfaction with the kick-off meeting, “Having all TALOS partners physically gathered in Lisbon proved to be crucial in aligning everyone’s contribution to the project from its inception. The meeting sparked constructive technical discussions on the development of the TALOS autonomous robots. All partners demonstrated a high commitment to the TALOS objectives and a clear eagerness to start working on this ambitious project.”

Chiara Locuratolo, Project Management Officer for ICONS, highlighted the transformative potential of AI, “Artificial intelligence is profoundly changing the way we organise our lives. And the cleverest use we can make of it is undoubtedly in enhancing environmental and workplace conditions across various sectors. TALOS has precise objectives and great potential in this challenge.” ICONS contributes to the consortium with its expertise in science communication, and in business and social innovation, ensuring that all stakeholders are well-informed and actively involved in this significant transformation, where human-robot interactions will grow increasingly stronger.

In conclusion, the TALOS project represents a significant leap forward in the application of artificial intelligence and robotics in the PV energy sector. By automating O&M tasks, it aims to improve efficiency and safety while reducing the environmental impact. The project also offers a platform for SMEs and start-ups to demonstrate their innovative solutions, thereby fostering a culture of innovation and creativity in the electronics and computer programming sectors. The future of PV energy operations looks bright with initiatives like TALOS leading the way.