Successful seeding, care and harvesting of barley in a project to fully automate agriculture using robots
Tractor is one of the first commercial automatic driving cars. Besides the automatic driving car, there is a huge market of automatic robots that can be used in agriculture, such as drone for spraying pesticides and drone filled with sensors. Still, agriculture still had the image of the human being, but Harper Adams University uses only the automatic driving car and drone, and sowing barley, care and harvesting with an area of 1 acre half (about 6000 square meters) I succeeded in doing it.
Autonomous Robots Plant, Tend, and Harvest Entire Crop of Barley - IEEE Spectrum
The name of the project to explore the possibilities of agriculture and automatic robotics by Harper Adams University is "Hands free hectare". In this project, we sowed, care, and harvest barley only by robot, and during this time, human beings did not go to the field.
In the Hands free hectare project, the progress of research is released on YouTube, and in the following movies, you can see how to plow the field with a tractor using automatic driving technology.
HFHa # 28 - drilling, rolling and the crop now - YouTube
It is also possible to spray insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers automatically using tractors, if necessary.
HFHa # 15 Tractor autonomously spraying in the Hands Free Hectare - YouTube
In modern agriculture, plants do not arbitrarily grow if seeds are dropped on the ground. The amount of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, the time to harvest, etc. depend on the data on the state of the crop. In order to make these decisions, we survey the fields using robots such as drone and collect data. Among the robots used to investigate the state of the crop, there is also a small automatic driving robot for sampling and you can get samples of soil and crop with a small shovel mounted on the car body.
HFHa # 22 Robo Scout for plant sampling - YouTube
Besides a small automatic driving robot for sampling, a drone is also used. The drone that appeared in the movie below is used after the ear of barley has been used and it takes home the fruit from the pan as a sample.
HFHa # 30 The Clam Grabbing Barley Samples - YouTube
And if it is confirmed that the barley brought back as a sample is dry enough, automatic harvesting using a robot will be executed in a few days. The following movie is a movie showing the state of harvest using robots, it seems that it took about 6 hours to actually harvest one acre of acre.
# 34 'Ands It Off' Farmers weekley Harvest Live - YouTube
The project seems to have succeeded in harvesting 4.5 tons of barley per hectare, but this is significantly less than the average value of 6.8 tons when cultivated and harvested in a general way . Students who took part in the Hands Free Hectare project revealed that they received a budget of £ 200,000 (about 29 million yen) from the British government, saying "the most expensive barley to date, per hectare" I will. However, since most of the budget is spent to purchase tractors and harvesting machines etc., in the future we will be able to make barley much cheaper in the future.
There is a possibility of saving some effort by completely automating agriculture, but there are many other advantages as well. In the case of fully automated agricultural vehicles, it is no longer necessary for people to sit in the driver's seat, so it is possible to make the size of the vehicle itself more compact or to use the entire vehicle more efficiently. By using a robot, it is also possible to maintain a 24-hour, 365-day farm with minimal labor.
Besides the Hands Free Hectare project,DeepFieldYaTertillIt seems that automation of agriculture is gradually growing little by little as a practical way to cultivate the increasing world population, as there are multiple agricultural robots like.
The Hands Free Hectare project is planning to harvest crops even in winter, during that time, they are using beer made from harvested barley.