The Universidad Politecnica de Madrid is participating in the Sparkle project by means of the “LPF_Tagralia” Research Group, belonging to the Agroforest Engineering Department. It has been active since 1983 at an international level on the development of engineering solutions for introducing new technologies in farm machinery, and the development of sensors oriented mainly to field work (on-board, proximal sensing), modelling of big data, and postharvest operations on agricultural produce. One of the working areas of the group focuses on the adaptation of ICT technologies to agricultural machinery according to current farmers’ needs. The group has accomplished relevant results in mechatronics and precision agriculture applications for vineyard harvesting and seed drill machinery. Recent participation in projects about autonomous robotics allowed us to achieve goals on automation and safety of mobile units. Our team, composed by 12 full time professors and researchers, carries out basic as well as applied research (50 SCI papers since 2007, and we combine research (32 National Projects) with consultancy services to companies (more than 100 papers in professional journals). We have developed methods and equipment (5 of which have been patented), that facilitate appropriate machinery management to farmers, as well as knowledge exchange with farm machinery manufacturers.
Our expertise in education is strongly linked to the implementation of new technologies for agriculture, in subjects related to sensorics, thermodynamics, farm machinery and food quality. We were the first School of Agricultural Engineering in Spain to provide education about Precision Agriculture at university level, since 2004. Now PA lectures are integrated in the Biosystems Master’s degree, Automation Technologies specialization. We have also a deep background on Educational Innovation.