A Novel Autonomous Robot for Greenhouse Applications

Grimstad, Lars, Zakaria, Remy, Le, Tuan Dung and From, Pal (2019) A Novel Autonomous Robot for Greenhouse Applications. In: 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 1 - 5 October 2018, Madrid, Spain.

Full content URL: http://doi.org/10.1109/IROS.2018.8594233

A Novel Autonomous Robot for Greenhouse Applications
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper presents a novel agricultural robot for greenhouse applications. In many greenhouses, including the greenhouse used in this work, sets of pipes run along the floor between plant rows. These pipes are components of the greenhouse heating system, and doubles as rails for trolleys used by workers. A flat surface separates the start of each rail set at the greenhouse headland. If a robot is to autonomously drive along plant rows, and also be able to move from one set of rails to the next, it must be able to locomote both on rails and on flat surfaces. This puts requirements on mechanical design and navigation, as the robot must cope with two very different operational environments. The robot presented in this paper has been designed to overcome these challenges and allows for autonomous operation both in open environments and on rails by using only low-cost sensors. The robot is assembled using a modular system created by the authors and tested in a greenhouse during ordinary operation. Using the robot, we map the environment and automatically determine the starting point of each rail in the map. We also show how we are able to identify rails and estimate the robots pose relative to theses using only a low-cost 3D camera. When a rail is located, the robot makes the transition from floor to rail and travels along the row of plants before it moves to the next rail set which it has identified in the map. The robot is used for UV treatment of cucumber plants.

Keywords:Green Products, Rails, Mobile Robots, Tools, Wheels, Task Analysis
Subjects:H Engineering > H671 Robotics
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D470 Agricultural Technology
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology
ID Code:39245
Deposited On:06 Jan 2020 10:14

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