Insect monitoring in greenhouses

Delft based startup PATS is developing insect monitoring and bio-inspired control systems for greenhouse horticulture. The aim of this project is to investigate how 5G can contribute to establish fast, reliable connections and improvement in data management.


January 2024 – December 2029

Partners (TU Delft)

Do IoT Fieldlab, TU Delft, RoboHouse

Partners (other)

PATS, TNO, MCS, Tomatoworld

Pest insects in a greenhouse can disturb plant growth or even be a threat to crop yields. Yet, in a healthy ecosystem, some insects can specifically be helpful. Therefore, distinguishing one from the other is preferable, to deploy the appropriate control measure.

PATS develops camera and drone technology to monitor and eradicate flying insects in greenhouses. Their system consists of two components: the first one captures infrared images of flying insects to track the population development. The second system eliminates the undesired insects mechanically with drones. This project focuses on the monitoring and identification system. The current system sends data through 4G connectivity. The aim is to experiment with 5G communication technology to improve robustness and expand the system’s features.

5G is used for data transmission, offering improved speed, reliability and coverage. The field tests will be conducted at the AgriFood Greenhouse located at RoboHouse. The focus is on improving the performance, reliability, energy efficiency, and commercial viability of the systems by leveraging 5G capabilities such as eMBB, beamforming, massive MIMO, MTC, and roaming. After investigating the relevant aspects of 5G technology and its potential application to the detection system, PATS will be scaling up its innovative solution at Tomatoworld in a fully operational greenhouse.

The desired end result is a comprehensive and advanced pest management system for greenhouses.In the end, the solution aims to improve the accuracy, effectiveness, and sustainability of pest monitoring and control in greenhouses. The agricultural sector will benefit by reducing crop damages and minimising the use of chemical pest control products.