Blog

Blog

First autonomous on-farm field trial of RIPPA™ and VIIPA™

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:

https://www.facebook.com/431557963627074/videos/845773805538819/

First outdoor test of RIPPA™ and VIIPA™

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!

With its comprehensive array of sensors, and ability to precisely and repeatably scan the field, Ladybird is well suited as a scientific research tool to measure crop phenotypes. We're working with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) to test this application.

 

James Underwood gave a talk about autonomous information systems for tree crops, at the APAL speed updating session, alongside the National Horticulture Convention on the Gold Coast in June 2015. All the talks are available here.

 

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.

This video demonstrates the use of a reconfigurable rover for crop row monitoring.

Happy holidays from Ladybird

The Ladybird robot and the Agricultural Robotics team at ACFR, The University of Sydney would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday period!

Concept video: Using robotics to target weeds

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.

 


2-6 February 2015
Sydney, Australia
http://www.acfr.usyd.edu.au/education/ssar2015.shtml

Applications due: 8 December 2014 (extended)
General enquiries: ssar2015@acfr.usyd.edu.au


NEW: Preliminary program now listed at http://www.acfr.usyd.edu.au/education/ssar2015.shtml

The IEEE RAS Summer School on Agricultural Robotics (SSAR 2015) is a new summer school to be held at The University of Sydney, Australia over five days during the southern hemisphere summer, from 2-6 February 2015. SSAR 2015 is supported in part by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and The University of Sydney.

Agricultural robotics is an area of growing interest with the potential to bring about profound economic and social benefits. The School aims to promote robotics research that will enable safe, efficient, and economical production in agriculture and horticulture. The School will consist of presentations by world experts covering a broad range of topics in agricultural robotics, hands-on activities that encourage deep learning, and collaboration activities including a student poster session as well as several social events. Attendance is open to graduate students, postdocs, academics, and industry practitioners.

THEMES
The main technical objective of the School is to cover the motivation driving research in agricultural robotics, existing projects and results, and open research problems in key areas of agricultural robotics. Underlying research topics include systems design of outdoor platforms, perception in semi-structured outdoor environments, planning and control for single and multiple robot systems, and manipulators for harvesting and weeding.

The School will include presentations (and opportunities to interact with) representatives from the USDA, GRDC, Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation.

Please check the website for updates on the detailed technical program.

APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION
Application details can be found on the SSAR 2015 website (http://www.acfr.usyd.edu.au/education/ssar2015.shtml). 
Applications will be processed as received. Spaces are limited so please send your application as soon as possible. 
Applications are due by 8 December 2014.

General enquiries can be addressed to ssar2015@acfr.usyd.edu.au.

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.

Managing snails with robots

Robert Fitch's presentation in Minlaton (SA) on  “Robotics in agriculture now, and a potential solution for robotic snail management on the YP” was featured in the Yorke Peninsula Country Times newspaper.

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.