EDUCATION AND RESEARCH CENTER FOR AGRICULTURAL AUTOMATION

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GOAL

The main purpose of Education & Research Center for Agricultural Automation (ERCAA) is to cultivate qualified manufacture, R/D and professionals for agricultural automation to upgrade the agriculture industry in Taiwan.

BACKGROUNDS AND HISTORY

To solve the shortage of labor and increase the productivity in agriculture, Taiwan government started a ten-year project, called agricultural automation project, in 1990. Following the policy, Council of Agriculture has sponsored a ten-year research and extension project. Besides, Ministry of Education has also provided a special education fund for promoting the education of automated agriculture.
The College of Bioresources and Agriculture at National Taiwan University took this advantage to establish an institution named Education Center for Agricultural Automation (ECAA), the precursor of ERCAA, in 1992. For the aim of adding automation research, the ECAA was transformed into the Education and Research center for Agricultural Automation (ERCAA) for advanced research in the field of automated agriculture in 1997.

ORGANIZATION

The Center brings together faculty members from the College of Bioresources and Agriculture and also coordinates an interdisciplinary program in the study of automated agriculture. The Center is governed by an advisory committee. The Dean of Agriculture is the chairman of the committee, and each department elects one member (the elected member should be the full-time faculty of the College). Currently, there are 13 committee members. The Director of the Center, who is in charge of the Center, is appointed by the Dean of the College from the members of the committee. The section chief of Teaching and Research is appointed and is responsible for the internal management of research, and teaching related affairs..

FACILITIES

The Center is located on the second floor of the Biomechatronics building II. The Center offers students and faculty in the College licensed software, mechatronics and hydraulic/pneumatic equipment, as well as a network for their teaching and research projects. The network of the Center is connected to all departments in the College to assist in training future professionals of automated agriculture production and management.

A total facility includes a mechatronic classroom and two computer rooms. The mechatronic classroom is equipped with the facilities of mechatronic equipments, such as: automation design/stimulation systems, high speed data transfer interfaces, sensor modules, system testers, machine vision systems, hydraulic/pneumatic systems, and various controllers, etc. for education and internship purposes. The computer rooms have a 40 PC with network connected with the internet, which is accessible for multimedia instructions, internship and seminars. Other facilities include video projectors, slide projectors, VCR, TV sets, and projective screens, etc.

With facilities and classrooms for information and mechatronics, the Education and Research Center for Agricultural Automation has the responsibilities of promoting and coordinating the research projects and education of automated agriculture professionals.

ACTIVITIES

The ERCAA provides essential educational facilities and environment for agricultural automation. More than 25 routine courses, seminars and training classes are held every year. Average usage rate is remained over 80%.
@@ Currently, on-going projects include the Education Upgrading Program for Automated Agriculture (sponsored by MOE), Automated teaching facility training program (sponsored by MOE), and agricultural automation projects (sponsored by COA). Further liaison, promotion service will be engaged in the further. Detail information regarding the educational and research resources can be obtained in our website at http://www.ecaa.ntu.edu.tw
@@ Since the Center now functions with only one full-time staff (technician), it is pretty limited in its capacity and space. Research projects are mainly carried out in individual departments. It will be expanded once the agriculture science building is built.