New Technologies for Insect Breeding Were Demonstrated at the Bulgarian Scale-up Nasekomo

The CoRoSect project, which brings together 19 innovation-leading organizations in Europe, has opened its doors to some of the key achievements so far. The project aims to optimize insect farming through digitization and provide greater opportunities for industry growth.

A complete robotic system for managing the production of insect protein, demonstrated connectivity and networking, during which individual robots and subsystems served together different stages of the production process.

Each of the robots is the result of two years of development by various partners, and, in Nasekomo, within nearly a month, the behavior of the robots was tested and the connectivity between them was perfected.

During the Open Doors event, an autonomous transport robot, an industrial robotic arm and a fine manipulation arm were shown working interactively in a dynamic robotic cell to perform operations together.

The CoRoSect project is an example of how avant-garde the insect industry can be, which, in addition to providing the much-needed protein, also plays a key role in introducing circular production by acquiring low-value raw materials from the agro and food industries.

The interest in the cultivation of insects for alternative protein is growing rapidly, which will soon lead to the need to automate processes and even the entire production in order to scale up according to market demand. A study on the global insect protein market reveals that while this market is valued at USD 428.12 million in 2022, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.5% is projected, whereby the market will grow to US$ 1,386.55 million by 2027.

The CoRoSect project is ahead of its time to respond in time to the predicted increase in the need for new protein production technologies and provide greater opportunities for industry growth. Because CoRoSect works with living organisms, the challenges are many and varied. For example, tracking and managing the conditions in which insects are reared is extremely key to providing quality protein in pre-set volumes. A system was demonstrated today that, with the help of artificial intelligence, monitored and analyzed the state and well-being of insects, as well as their condition and number.

Rico Möckel, project coordinator and associate professor at Maastricht University, shared:

“The work at Nasekomo was extremely rich and successful. We tested the CoRoSect system extensively and got pretty good results that exceeded our expectations.Thanks to the support of Nasekomo, we were able to successfully test an automatic quality management application under real-world conditions. With the help of artificial intelligence, we were able to analyze the quality composition of the insects provided to us for observation. In fact, today, for the first time, we demonstrated connectivity of our robots in a configuration to serve a real larval rearing process for the Black Soldier Fly that Nasekomo works with.”

The CoRoSect project is facing another insect species research and work on, and the biggest challenge is going to be the final demonstration at the Spanish Entomotech farm.

“This project supports both our positioning as a biotech company and also paves the way for the development of an innovative multi-level industry,” said Xavier Marcenac, founder of Nasekomo.