The Volcani Center
Gilat Research Center
Agricultural Research Organization
Expertise: The activities of the Institute are mostly application-oriented and R&D projects that cover a wide range of subjects, such as harvest and post-harvest systems, greenhouse technologies and environmental control, zoo-technology, soil disinfestation and chemical application systems, quality control and production management. The Institute has successfully completed numerous R&D projects, whose applications can be seen in action both throughout Israel and overseas. A wide range of research activities place particular emphasis on: Development of novel technologies and mechanization for postharvest treatments of fruits and vegetables; these developments include separating, sizing, sorting, hulling, cracking and handling systems; Techniques for identification and measurement of internal and external indicators of quality attributes of agricultural produce, by nondestructive techniques and methods, including: near-infrared, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasonics, dielectric properties, computer vision, and bio-sensors; Methods and means of transportation and of automated treatment and handling of products at various stages of the growing process; The activities include harvesting, electrostatic spraying, and pollination; Optimization of various processes by means of integrated Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS); Development of precision agriculture systems, including site-specific spraying and fertilization of field crops, and orchards; Development of robotic systems for harvesting of field and orchard crops; Development of field machinery; Applications of information technology. Facility: Institute of Agricultural Engineering has a wide range of sensing instrumentation for laboratory as well as field sensing. Optical sensing systems include machine vision cameras and processing units, spectral imaging, thermal imaging and high speed systems. A robotics lab includes small scale platforms for developing autonomous navigation. A GIS lab is equipped with software for projects on precision farming and application of information and communication technologies in agriculture. A mechanical shop serves for prototyping of machines and systems in advanced stages of development and field tests. Priority: Sensors for precision agriculture: hyperspectral and thermal imaging; Computer vision; Multispectral image processing; Quality Evaluation of agricultural products by non-destructive methods.