The latest results of technology and research are increasingly used in agriculture, especially in intensive cultures that ensure remunerative returns. Most cultures in greenhouses are in this category where, despite the large use of technology, human operators still manually perform most operations on the crop although they are often highly repetitive and sometime even dangerous. This fact greatly impacts on the quality of the product, on the production costs and on collateral issues, such as pollution and safety. In this paper, the state of research in robotic automation in agriculture outlining the characteristics that robots should have to allow their profitable use is considered. A multi-purpose low-cost robot prototype, designed and built according to such characteristics, is then presented together with the results of some preliminary experimentation with it. Although more research is needed, the results prove to be promising and show some advantages that can be achieved with robotic automation. In particular, precision spraying and precision fertilisation applications have been developed and tested. Although the productivity of the prototype is quite low (in the range of 400–500 plant/h), experiments conducted continuously for several hours show that the robot can perform tasks unaffordable by human operators.
|Titolo:||Robot Design and Testing for Greenhouse Applications|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|