Created through the Horticulture Innovation Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at the University of Sydney's internationally-recognised Australian Centre for Field Robotics, RIPPA is a production prototype robot for the vegetable industry. This video provides an update on RIPPA’s functionality and future research and development work.
The RIPPA team recently completed a successful field trial on a broccoli crop at Fresh Select farms in Werribee, Victoria. RIPPA's tasks included data collection, foreign object removal, a solar endurance characterization and testing a new deep learning algorithm for weed detection that was used for real time mechanical weeding.
Thanks to the team at Fresh Select for making this possible.
RIPPA has just had its first ever field trial on a spinach crop at Mulyan farms in Cowra, NSW. We had RIPPA driving up and down the rows autonomously using satellite based corrections to within 4cm precision. You can see RIPPA and VIIPA in action on the WIN News Central West Facebook page here:
Here's a video showing the first outdoor test of our new precision ground vehicle RIPPA™ (Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application). VIIPA™ (Variable Injection Intelligent Precision Applicator) is shown autonomously shooting weeds at high speed using a directed micro dose of liquid. The first on-farm trial will be in Cowra late October, 2015!
This video shows the Ladybird performing targeted spot spray in real time. In this example, we show real-time results, first in the lab and then on a commercial vegetable orchard in Cowra, NSW, Australia. Ladybird detects the locations of seedlings in 3D using a stereo camera, then fires a small and controllable volume of spray at each target. Coupled with algorithms shown in previous videos for automatic weed detection, this technology can be used to deliver tiny amounts of herbicide exactly where it's needed, anywhere on the farm, allowing a herbicide volume reduction to only 0.01% compared with conventional blanket spraying applications.
Here’s a demonstration of concept weeding methods using the robotic manipulator on our Ladybird robot. We’ll be doing some field trials early 2015!
We've just returned from another successful trip to the farm. Ladybird scanned corn to detect different varieties of weeds within the crop and beetroot just prior to harvest for yield monitoring and to evaluate the performance of different seed spacings. With harvest occurring all around us, it was great to see Ladybird operating autonomously alongside traditional farm equipment, showing that high-tech autonomous systems can easily coexist with current methods. The farm of the future is nearer than you might think.
We've finished constructing the Ladybird and successfully commissioned it on a commercial veggie farm near Cowra, New South Wales. In two parts, the videos show the construction, automation, data and processing.
In part 1, we show the construction and testing of the vehicle on a commercial vegetable near Cowra, New South Wales. The vehicle can drive autonomously up and down rows of a vegetable farm, gathering data that we think will be useful for growers to manage the farm. The Ladybird is a solar electric powered vehicle, and during our three day trip, we didn't need to charge the vehicle once.
In part 2, we show some examples of the types of data we obtain and how it can be processed, to provide useful information to growers.
The Ladybird has captured the imagination of growers and the public alike, with online news and radio articles featured around Australia and globally. Links to stories here.
We exercise the whole system for the first time, including translation, rotation and combined manoeuvres, including autonomous row alignment and following.
We have designed and built this robot as a new research platform to support Australia's vegetable industry. The omnidirectional wheel base allows traversal over most existing farm configurations, treading much more lightly over where existing tractor wheels currently run. In addition to the low weight of the vehicle, the ability to turn each wheel allows precision guidance and manoeuvrability, while minimising damage to the soil. In the undercarriage, the Ladybird carries a variety of optical sensors, including stereo and hyperspectral cameras, and the versatile robot arm enables development in a wide variety of applications, including spraying, weeding, thinning and of course to support harvesting research. We are looking forward to to our first tests on vegetable farm in the coming weeks.