User interface and coverage planner for agricultural robotics

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, ACRA, 2015
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Farmers are under growing pressure to increase production, a challenge that robotics has the potential to address. A possible solution is to replace large farm machinery with numerous smaller robots. However, with a large number of robots it will become increasingly time consuming for the farmer to monitor and control them all, hence the need for an effective user interface and automatic multi-robot coordination. This paper describes the design of a user interface and coverage planner suitable for controlling multiple robots for typical coverage style farm operations. The cross-platform user interface allows the farmer to specify their farm including fields, roads and docking stations. The coverage planner splits the workload between the robots and plans periodic docking. The results for the different multi-robot coverage strategies demonstrate the advantage of the robots sequentially moving between fields rather than freely moving between them. The multi-robot system has been used for a coverage task on a real farm for controlling two real robots and four simulated robots operating for two days.
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