Autonomous Harvest

Posted by The Open Page | 24th December, 2017

              Autonomous Harvest
Hands Free Hectare is an experimental farm run by researchers from Harper Adams University, in the United Kingdom.
It's harvest season in many parts of the world, but here we will have come to know that  one farm in the United Kingdom, robots  are the manpower and are doing all the heavy lifting, not the  human beings . 
It  is an experimental farm run by researchers from Harper Adams University, in the village of Edgmond in the U.K., We have seen that about 5 tons of spring barley are harvested from the world’s first robotically tended farm and given a very good result. Everything is handled by the robot  from start to finish — including sowing, fertilizing, collecting samples and harvesting  it has been done by autonomous vehicles on the farm, according to the researchers then work of man power is reduced but some training is required to give the command to the Robert machines.
The working  team  members behind this  project thinks that robotic technology could improve yields in agriculture, which is necessary if the world's growing population is to be fed in coming years
The problem is tackled  by using commercially available agriculture machines and open-source software that is used to guide hobbyists’ drones.
"In agriculture,  it was a biggest problem to handle all the work as without man power in abundant it was not possible to reach up to results, nobody has really managed to solve the problem of autonomy," said Jonathan Gill, mechatronics researcher at Harper Adams University, who led the project."We were like, Why is this not possible?  If we could make it possible the autopilot are relatively cheap, how come there are companies out there that are charging exorbitant amounts of money to actually have a system that just follows a straight line?"
The research team has  purchased several small-size agricultural machines, including a tractor and a combine, a machine for harvesting grain crops. With help of technology and throw research the reasearcher assembled  the machines with actuators, electronics and robotic technology that would allow them to control the machines without the presence of a human operator and that  is the wonderful part where the inventors have got the  success to reduce the burden of a manpower, this they prepared according to their  knowledge and worked all the researchers as a team on this project.
They move toward their first stage which was to make it radio controlled, This was their first success step towards autonomy. After reaching on this stage they all moved to prepare preprogram which was needed to be performed into the autopilot system.
Gill's collaborator, Martin A bell, who works for Precision Decisions, an industrial agricultural company that partners with the university, explained that the system follows a certain trajectory with preprogrammed stops to perform certain actions.
"The vehicles navigate entirely based on the GPS, and they are just essentially driving towards targets that we predetermined," A bell said. "At different GPS targets, there are different actions designed to be carried out.".So the GPS targets should be programmed well. 
A bell said the researchers has put lots of efforts and struggled to make the machines follow a straight line, which initially resulted in quite a lot of crop damage and was not getting the desired result. However, the scientists think they will be able to fix the problem in the coming years and will eventually achieve better yields than a conventionally maintained farm of the same size could produce.
To look after and for continuous  monitoring  the field and  to take samples of the plants, the researchers developed special grippers attached to drones. As soon as the drone flies above the field, the grippers can cut off some samples and deliver them to the researchers. This was one of the relaxation and they received a good output.
The  researcher team with the opinion of  scientists came to know  that the robotic technology could enable future farmers to more precisely distribute fertilizers and herbicides, but could also lead to improvements in soil quality. To fulfill all the required tasks in a reasonable amount of time, farmers rely on very large and heavy machines. In the future in coming up times, they could use flocks of smaller robotic tractors and harvesters, the researchers said .As the success will take place there will be a solution to all the segments which will satisfy the need of smallest areas too.
For example, the farmer would be able to apply only to the plants that are doing poorly and wouldn’t waste it on those that don't need it, the researchers explained and  the machines used in agriculture are large and seems huge in size but , they operate quickly, they cover large areas of ground quickly, but with it comes inaccuracy," A bell said. "Small machines working with smaller working widths would provide a means to bring the resolution down. Instead of a 100-foot (30 meters) sprayer, you would have a 20-foot (6 m) sprayer, and that’s just the beginning of making things smaller.".
In the demanding world and very soon in  the coming years, they want to focus on improving the precision of the procedures and quantify the effects of the robotic technology on the yields.

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