Crop data collection can be a tedious task. Drone surveying companies have flourished to address precision agriculture needs in vegetation status monitoring, identification and management of pests or diseases, yield estimate and harvest planning.
However, drones have low weight limits, are flight-time limited and require skilled operators. Ground-based field robots provide a simple alternative for field surveying over longer periods of time and with more sensors.
Here is an example of a data acquisition process implemented by a lettuce grower in Yuma.
Youtube Video: Little robot never gets stuck
Here is the setup: Amiga base robotic platform equipped with the intelligence kit to record visual data with two IP67 robotics cameras. The cameras are ruggedized Luxonis Oak-D-W-PoE with stereo depth perception and a 4 TOPS processor that can run AI models.
The tablet-looking screen is a ruggedized waterproof touchscreen computer, the brain, that is included in the intelligence kit. The brain is running the standard data acquisition application to store the data feeds from both robotics cameras. Nothing complicated: the robot and kit are used “out of the box”.
Here a trick: set the cruise control and let the robot go by itself. The robot wheels will naturally stay in the furrows and the robot will follow the crop row. No need to implement any sort of vision guidance. Someone at the end of the row can pick up the robot’s controller or tele-operate it to turn around.