Who we are

Mi5 Bogotá student group objective is to create an interdisciplinary know-how in the Smart Farming domain. This know-how is built through case studies associated to the automatization of agro-industrial processes. The objective of each case study is to develop prototypes for solving current Colombian challenges.

Why we work

The majority of specialty crop production enterprises rely on low-wage, seasonal and usually unskilled labor. This results from the reduction of the availability of job vacancies for lower-skilled, and potentially unsafe production tasks, while creating opportunities for higher skilled and more specialized workers in jobs related to manufacturing, support, service, and finance — and industries that create innovative products or solutions, which in many cases leads to a more competitive market position.

The introduction of automation in crop production industries concerns tools and technologies that can improve efficiency and product quality and also reduce the environmental impact which is an unwanted side-effect of processing.


2308, 2017

Makeathon Finals

60 participants at the 1st Smart Farming Makeathon Colombia Students from different disciplines assumed the risk of designing a prototype in only three days. Is it possible to design a prototype that can solve [...]

1008, 2017

Day 2: Smart Farming Challenge

We noticed the exhaustion from yesterday upon waking up, and that explained the time of arrival of some. The early birds arrived at 7am to take an optional training to use the manufacturing lab. [...]

708, 2017

Day 1: Smart Farming Challenge

What a day! The first day arriving early was easy. The excitement and expectations were at a peak and we all wanted the event to begin straight away. The organizers arrived at 7am to [...]

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The Challenge: Automatic Harvesting Device

The first project of Mi5 Team Bogotá concerns a smart farming implementation in Colombian coffee fields. Currently, the harvesting is a fully handmade activity. Here are the two main reasons for that:

Field conformation

Colombian coffee fields are located on hillsides and valleys that have a complex and challenging topography for traditional automated harvesting machines. Fields can reach an inclination from 30% to 100%.

Fruit heterogeneity

Coffee bean ripening is not uniform. Therefore, it is necessary to harvest just the red beans while the others must remain in the branch.

These restrictions make the handmade harvesting the most viable and used method in Colombia. However, the manpower has been decreasing in the last years due to population migration to the cities. This situation creates a deficit of labor force in the fields.

Example of field inclination

Fruit heterogeneity

Cenicafé gripper test bench

Universidad de los Andes

The University of Los Andes was founded in Bogotá on November 16, 1948 as the first private institution of higher learning in Colombia with a secular and independent nature. This institution was founded to educate and create a new country that could overcome the political differences of the time. Its mission was to close the gap of knowledge between Colombia and the technological advances made in the rest of the world. This purpose has helped the University of Los Andes to reach local and world recognition as an institution of excellence.

Giacomo Barbieri completed his undergraduate and master studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 2012.  In 2015, he graduated from the PhD program on Engineering of Industrial Innovation (XIII) at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia with specialization in Cyber-Physical Design of Production System. In 2016, he joined the “Grupo de Electrónica y Sistemas de Comunicaciones” (GIAP) at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá as Postdoctoral Researcher.

Among the others, during his studies he collaborated with UC Berkeley, Technical University of Munich, Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions SpA and National Instruments.

He is coordinating the Mi5 Bogotá group. If you want to be part of the team, contact him.

Email Giacomo

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Automatic Harvesting Team

Christian Andes Bohorquez
Christian Andes Bohorquez
Sebastián Porras
Sebastián Porras
Julian Rodriguez
Julian Rodriguez


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Universidad de los Andes
Cra. 1 #18a-12
Bogotá, Colombia

Phone: +57 3228314660
Email: g.barbieri@uniandes.edu.co