The SureVeg Robot Concept Simulation
Intercropping of vegetable crops asks for field operations performed individually for each row of crops or even for each single crop plant.
This is realistic to implement in modern vegetable production, if performed automatically by a robot that will allow precision management aligned to the needs of each crop species, for example of fertilization. The development of such a robot is one of the goals set in the SureVeg project, which focusses on intercropping of vegetables and recycling of waste and plant biomass. The aim is to increase biodiversity and resource-efficiency in intensive vegetable production systems.
The research groups at the CAR - Polytechnical University of Madrid focus on the development of the SureVeg Robot based on experiences gained from the SureVeg field trials.
Please follow the link to the animation movie showing the SureVeg Robot Concept Simulation.
It was developed using Unity3D and ROS (Robot Operating System) to have a fairly realistic approach.
The SureVeg Robot works by plant-by-plant recognition through different subsystems: a point clouds sensory subsystem allows to detect the plants and robot position in the intercropped field. A multispectral vision subsystem evaluates the fertilizer needs of each plant. Finally, the path planning subsystem defines the trajectory in which the robotic arm will move to apply the needed dose of fertilizer using a nozzle. The robot is placed on a vehicle which positions the end effect system correctly around each plant.
The SureVeg Robot is expected to be ready for demonstration during the SureVeg project as a proof-of-concept of automatic and individual crop management in intercropped systems.
Christyan Cruz, Hanne L. Kristensen & Constantino Valero