This article was last modified on 19 July 2017.
Some of the farmer’s responsibilities have already been taken over by the machines. The robot tractors capable of turning around, cultivating or maintaining the land are a common presence in the landscape.
The main objective of the manufacturers is to replace the manual labor for all types of farming activities. But I know, it is too early to talk about such intelligent machines. Until then, in this article, you will find the best robot tractors capable of autonomous operations in agriculture.
Greenbot – safety first
Added on 19 July 2017
Greenbot is an autonomous tractor that uses a diesel engine to generate power.
Is guided by GPS and has software specially designed to be used by the operator for commands and data analysis.
The tractor robot comes with a series of systems for detecting obstacles, animals, people, etc. In front, it has mounted a radar and a bumper bar with mobile parts to detect the impact. Additionally, in the bumper are installed other few sensors for detection.
Tractobot: An autonomous tractor controlled with ROS
All these tractors are used by the farmer to help him with tasks such as working and planting large areas of land.
In the first phase, Kyler developed an algorithm for the direction of the tractor. Another important step in the development of the project was the inclusion of the ROS framework.
In addition to ROS, Kyler uses hardware components that are available to any technology enthusiast. Among the hardware used is a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or GPS modules. All of these components do not exceed $2000, which is a modest sum for a normal tractor converted into an autonomous one.
Any of the robot tractors are capable of going straight, turning, and controlling tools to work the land.
Dino – a mobile platform good at all
Naïo Technologies has designed a mobile platform good at all. Dino is a robot for crop maintenance routines on large areas.
The robot can be used to remove weeds or seed crops. All of this is done autonomously without any outside intervention.
Like any other tractor, the robot has attached different tools for various operations.
The software can identify weeds and a wide range of vegetable crops.
PUMAgri: A Large Autonomous Robot Tractor
PUMAgri is a robot tractor developed in Europe by a consortium of 7 partners. The robot is designed to replace the workforce where it is missing or where there are difficulties in carrying out specific farming operations.
The robot is not designed for a particular task. It can be used to remove weeds in large areas with crops or orchards. In addition to weed removal, the robot analyzes the environment in which the operation takes place and sends information to the operator.
The robot navigates autonomously on the basis of the data to the operator.
The operator sets the robot course on a tablet, moving it autonomously on the established route. The navigation is done with sensors such as laser and 3D camera.
Argo J5 XTR – A Robot Inspired by Space Robots
A Canadian company that develops all-terrain robots to explore the Moon, has adapted its technology and build robots for farming. The result is a mobile platform called Argo J5 XTR.
The platform is already used to spray banana plantations in the Caribbean (an area of the Americas consisting of the Caribbean Sea).
Before using this robot, agricultural workers were exposed to fungicides, rough terrain, and high temperatures during the day.
The robot can be remotely controlled by an operator. In this way, controlling the robot from distance will not expose the operator to chemicals and rough terrain.
Bonirob: Autonomous robot for crop and weed monitoring
A start-up called Deepfield Robotics (a Bosch company) has developed a robot tractor capable of analyzing and remove weeds around crop plants. The robot is called Bonirob.
The analysis consists of determining the amount of water and the fertilizer levels needed to produce high crops.
The weeds are identified by analyzing the leaves. The leaves make the difference between weeds and crops. Bosch engineers have created a database of weeds so that the robot can identify them as accurately as possible.
In the vast majority of cases, the removal of weeds is done by cutting them, but Bonirob proceeds differently to remove them. The robot has an instrument that pushes the weeds into the ground.
An autonomous robot to remove weeds
The below autonomous robot is designed to eliminate the weeds on the rows of plants.
The interesting part is the autonomous robot able to eliminate weeds using the ROS frame and a series of cameras that capture and analyze ground images.
The robot has tank-like tracks to a better distribution of the weight to the ground and better traction.
The autonomous robot is designed for large areas and can work in different plant mixtures.