Autonomous navigation with open software platform for field robots

Post, Mark A. and Bianco, Alessandro and Yan, Xiu T. (2017) Autonomous navigation with open software platform for field robots. In: Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Springer, Berlin. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Autonomous monitoring of agricultural farms fields has recently become feasible due to continuing development in robotics technology, but many notable challenges remain. In this chapter, we describe the state of ongoing work to create a fully autonomous agriculture robot platform for automated monitoring and intervention tasks on modern farms that is built using with low cost and off the shelf hardware and open source software so as to be affordable to farmers. The hardware and software architectures used in this robot are described along with challenges and solutions in odometry and localization, object recognition and mapping, and path planning algorithms under the constraints of the current hardware. Results obtained from laboratory and field testing show both the challenges to be overcome, and the current successes in applying a low-cost robot platform to the task of autonomously navigating and planning the outdoor farming environment.