This article was last modified on 14 January 2018.
The robots in agriculture or agbot are robots deployed for agricultural purposes.
In the last 2 years were released as prototypes or for sale a lot of robots able to perform a wide range of agricultural chores. These robots uses specialized tools and accessories, arms and hands to perform agricultural tasks.
I have collected robots from around the world to give you an idea of how deeply the technology penetrates the agricultural systems. I make a short overview for each of these autonomous or semi-autonomous robots.
I have collected:
- automated harvesting systems;
- robots for weed control;
- robots with autonomous systems for navigation in the fields;
- robots mowing, pruning, seeding, spraying and thinning;
- robots in nurseries;
- robots for rowcrop, vineyard, and orchard applications;
- robots for sorting and packing;
- agricultural robot platforms;
Automated harvesting systems
Iron Ox Lettuce Robot – added on 4 January 2018
Iron Ox designed a robot to help transplant the lettuce between the trays. The robot is designed to work in a greenhouse and uses a rectangular frame to move from one side to another. The robot uses a stereo camera mounted on the arm and creates a 3D image of each plant. The arm uses a gripper custom-designed to fit the pods.
MIT Robot Gardener
The students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology design a mobile robot able to maintain the soil humidity and pick the ripe fruits. A network of sensors attached to each plant monitors the soil humidity and call the robot for water. The robot communicates wirelessly with the plant sensor.
At the first glance, the robot looks very familiar, it looks like a tractor. This machine uses sensors and robotic arms to detect ripe berries and pick these up from the ground.
Like any other harvester robot, the cucumber harvester detects ripe cucumbers and picks them off.
WP5 uses a robotic arm with a gripper to cut the sweet pepper fruit. Two mini-cameras attached to the gripper help the robot to detect the fruits.
This robot is designed to move on rails in a greenhouse to harvest ripe berries. A 3D stereo camera detects the ripeness of the fruit according to color and determines whether or not the fruit should be picked.
The CROPS solution
The Festo Fin Ray-Fingers is used to harvest ripe fruits. The robot is a configurable, modular and intelligent robot platform that uses cameras and other sensor technology to detect the ripeness and the position of the fruit. The robot also detects and avoids obstacles and other objects.
Automated weed control
HortiBot is the machinery that helps the farmers with weeds. With an eco-friendly wee-removing attachment, the robot recognizes and eliminate up to 25 different kinds of weeds.
The Asterix project
The Asterix project develops autonomous robots for automatic weed control in row crops.
AgBot II is a robot designed to help farmers to take decisions on the use of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and watering.
Autonomous navigation in the fields
The Hamster Bot is an autonomous robot that rolling over croplands without harming them. Inside the ball are attached a range of sensors to collect information about soil temperature, composition, moisture and plant health.
Rowbot is a robot designed to work in a variety of contexts. One task is to travel between the rows of corn to remove height constraints imposed by a rapidly growing crop. The robot can also work in teams to apply fertilizer and collect data about the corn.
Autonomous Robot Tractor
This self-steering tractor is capable of a wide range of maneuvers made with high accuracy. In an uneven and inconsistent terrain, a big problem is raised by the change of tractor direction. Only sensors or a powerful computer is not enough to pass the problems. This robot uses an application able to calibrate the direction according to each terrain type.
OZ is an autonomous electric robot designed to automate the way we grow a plant, maintain and harvest row crops.
Robotic mowing, pruning, seeding, spraying and thinning
Kompano – added on 4 January 2018
Kompano is a robot uses in horticulture and programmed to do the deleafing of tomato crops.
The LettuceBot combine computer vision and robotics to act 90 times per second with a precision of ¼-inch.
This wheeled robot is designed for greenhouses cores and prepared to use water accurately and efficiently. It carries a 30-gallon tank and travel autonomously around the greenhouse to perform watering chores.
The Spray robot is another greenhouse machine engineered for automatic spraying. The robot is 30 cm wide and uses a pipe rail system to move through the greenhouse. It is designed to use in tomato, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, rose, gerbera, anthurium, alstroemeria, and orchid.
Trakür (fog) is a robot designed to apply pesticides in greenhouses. For navigation, the robot uses a combination of GPS data, algorithms and a cable that emits an electro-magnetic signal.
Wall-Ye is a small wheeled robot that feature two metal arms. It is also equipped with GPS sensors and six web cameras to navigate between vines. Using different sensors, it can test the soil and check grapes.
This robot feature a range of sensors capable to collect data and help winegrowers to determine the yield of the vineyards. Called VINBOT, the robot uses a cloud network to capture and analyzes the vineyard images and 3D data.
This small flying robot is inspired by bees and is used for pollination.
The Spirit is an autonomous electric tractor designed to mow the lawn.
Vision Robotics Grapevine Pruner
With its snipping arms, this robot is engineered to maintain the grapevines healthy.
Prospero is a giant autonomous spider that can work in groups to plant, tend and harvest autonomously.
The Armadillo is a robot used in various applications such as crop scouting, mechanical and chemical weeding.
Robots in nurseries
Nursery Bot is the solution to automate move potted plants around. The robot uses wheels, gripper arms, trays and sensors move the plants to the desired location.
Ladybird feature tools and systems that make it able to perform autonomous tasks. The robot is used for surveillance, mapping, classification and detection for different vegetables.
Rowcrop, vineyard, and orchard applications
Available as a prototype, the robot uses advanced sensors and artificial intelligence to manage the vineyards. The robot provides data about water status, production, vegetable development or grape composition.
Insect Control Robot for Controlled Agriculture
This is an autonomous insect control system able to move on a rail in greenhouses.
Sorting and packing
Conic System Pro-300
Conic is a specialized sowing robot for greenhouses able to sow 1,000 trays an hour.
Gripper Inspired by Octopus
Somewhere in a corner of a laboratory, this robot arm moves vegetables back and forth on a party tray. It has blue fingers that curl around any piece of broccoli and lift it up to an adjoining compartment.
PRO Packing Robot
This robot is designed to fill the cartons with fruit or vegetables. The machinery is equipped with a camera programmed to differentiate the products sorted.
Multi Product Palletizing System
This robot arm performs automated palletizing tasks. It is smart enough to detect the type of cargo stack, divides and stacks boxes on applicable pallets.
Agricultural robot platforms
Grizzly is an autonomous utility vehicle with a strong body that can host a wide range of equipment for agricultural chores. The platform was developed especially to reduce the grass between crops by spraying chemicals. Also, the platform can perform delicate tasks such as manipulation and cultivation.
ASI Forge Platform
The ASI platform is designed for use with over 100 attachments. All these tools are useful in farming chores like in orchards and vineyards.
BoniRob is a modular platform that can host a large variety of tools for agricultural chores.