Press release #Internet of Things

More sleep for growers

Bosch helps optimize the strawberry crop

  • Sensor system tracks soil moisture as well as humidity and temperature
  • Time-saving: growers receive data by smartphone
  • Lower costs, less frequent frost damage, higher yields
  • Connected solution can also be used for other plants
Inga Ehret

Inga Ehret


Renningen and Weinstadt, Germany – For the grower Martin Bauer, it was not that long ago that strawberry season meant one thing: sleepless nights. Between mid-March and late May, when the plants flower, he would have to work ten to fifteen night shifts. Fearing that his strawberry plants could fall victim sub-zero temperatures at night, he would drive out to his fields around the German town of Weinstadt, near Stuttgart. If a check of air temperature revealed it was zero degrees Celsius or colder, he would cover the long rows of strawberries with fleece. “Frost would ruin everything,” Bauer says. He knows what he is talking about: losing 50 to 70 percent of his entire strawberry crop every two to three years used to be a fact of life – posing a serious threat to his livelihood.

However, Bauer no longer has to worry. On six of his twelve fields, a Bosch sensor system now monitors the condition of his strawberry plants. “The app that comes with the system lets me check on my plants from home – while sitting comfortably on my couch or under the bedclothes, so I don’t disturb my wife’s sleep,” Bauer says. “This doesn’t only make life easier for me. In the old days, 20 helpers used to have to regularly drive out to the fields with me at night.” Lessons learned from the six fields equipped with sensors can be applied to the other six; Bauer selected the fields with local climatic fluctuations in mind.

Sensor system measures temperature and humidity

The sensor system is the brainchild of the Deepfield Robotics, a Bosch start-up. The sensors measure the amount of moisture in the soil and inform the grower if it is too dry. They also measure air temperature and humidity and use that in order to calculate wet-bulb temperature. “If this temperature is zero degrees Celsius or below when the plants are beginning to flower, the grower has to cover the plants or take other steps to protect them from frost,” says Christian Glunk from Deepfield Robotics. The grower is also informed if the plants are too warm. Growers themselves can set the threshold values that will trigger an alert. In that case, growers can remove the coverings to ensure the sensitive plants are properly ventilated. And by tracking temperature and humidity records, growers can check whether everything is progressing smoothly or if there is a risk of mildew. “None of this requires any manual measurements,” Glunk says.

What’s more, the system can be used for other plants. Fruit growers could also use the sensors to monitor the development and growth of currants or raspberries. For Martin Bauer, this is a tempting idea – after all, he grows raspberries, too.

For more information on the technical details of the sensor system, go to

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 429,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2023). The company generated sales of 91.6 billion euros in 2023. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. With its business activities, the company aims to use technology to help shape universal trends such as automation, electrification, digitalization, connectivity, and an orientation to sustainability. In this context, Bosch’s broad diversification across regions and industries strengthens its innovativeness and robustness. Bosch uses its proven expertise in sensor technology, software, and services to offer customers cross-domain solutions from a single source. It also applies its expertise in connectivity and artificial intelligence in order to develop and manufacture user-friendly, sustainable products. With technology that is “Invented for life,” Bosch wants to help improve quality of life and conserve natural resources. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 470 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. Bosch’s innovative strength is key to the company’s further development. At 136 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 90,000 associates in research and development, of which nearly 48,000 are software engineers.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861–1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-four percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The remaining shares are held by Robert Bosch GmbH and by a corporation owned by the Bosch family. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG. It is entrusted with the task of safeguarding the company’s long-term existence and in particular its financial independence – in line with the mission handed down in the will of the company’s founder, Robert Bosch.

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