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California dreamin’: a French weeding robot in America

加州之梦:一个法国除草机器人在美国

关键词:
来源:
Future Farming
全文链接1:
http://agri.ckcest.cn/topic/downloadFile/7df86603-addf-43d7-a0b3-2a6876707ddc
全文链接2:
https://www.futurefarming.com/Machinery/Articles/2020/5/California-dreamin-a-French-weeding-robot-in-America-581602E/
类型:
前沿资讯
语种:
英语
原文发布日期:
2020-05-13
摘要:
Naïo Technologies is currently running its Dino autonomous vegetable weeding robot in California. Naïo’s local representative Simon Belin shares his experiences with Dino in the USA. The Dino autonomous vegetable weeding robot by French company Naïo Technologies has actually been on American soil for over a year now. Currently, Dino is being deployed on farms in the Salinas Valley, San Juan Batista and Hollister, all in California.Identify Dino’s limitationsIn 2019 Dino made its debut in the USA. “The first season in Salinas introduced local farmers to Dino – our bed straddling robot used for weeding salad crops. Thanks to our partners’ trust (such as Top Flavor Farm, Bonipak and Church Brothers Farms), we were able to weed many acres on their farms and gather precious feedback. We were thus able to identify Dino’s few limitations, and correct them immediately,” says Simon Belin, Naïo’s local representative, who is responsible for operating the robots on the various farms. “Several of my French colleagues regularly travelled to California and Arizona to conduct other tests and adapt our robot according to the needs expressed by American farms. Indeed, there are notable differences between European and American practices – which led us to modify certain aspects of the machine,” said Simon Belin.Improve camera guidance“We started by adjusting Dino’s guiding system over the crop beds. Its itinerary is now perfectly straight and accurate, in compliance with the map it is instructed to follow. A second team came to improve the tool’s camera guidance – which was another significant advancement for Dino. The third and final team went to Yuma in Arizona, to implement the active tool developed at the end of last year.”Fully autonomous robots“Other aspects were also adjusted, making the mechanics more reliable, ensuring more compact batteries, making it possible to use new weeding tools, and lastly providing operators with a reliable and secure remote control. All these improvements mean we now have fully autonomous robots, and we can consider operating several machines at the same time within the same plot of land.” Last season, Dino operated across dozens of hectares of farmland in the United States. This year, Naïo Technologies has scheduled hundreds more thanks to the arrival of other Dino machines throughout the USA.7 acres per day for one machineIn the past three weeks the Dino weeding robots have covered 100 acres, approximately 7 acres per day for one machine. The Dino robots are being deployed in cabbage (4 rows), romaine lettuce (5, 6 and 8 rows), leek (4 rows) and baby lettuce (10 rows). What does a day’s work with Dino look like? “Well, first I need to know what the farmer wants Dino to do, so I can equip the robot with the appropriate tools for the job,” says Simon. “Next I create a GPS map of the plot, using a manual GPS tag. The map is processed using a computer, and then the file can be uploaded to the Dino robot. The map tells the robot the number of rows and what the plot looks like.”U-turnsThe Dino robot then sets off to work in the plots, says Simon. “The entire process of mechanical weeding is being done fully autonomous. With the help of the map and the camera system on the tool carrier Dino finds its way and is able to make U-turns. I just watch the robot work from a distance, and make sure the area is secure, so I keep an eye out for look for moving objects like vehicles, or people walking around the plots.” The robot runs for between 6 and 9 hours, depending on soil conditions and the number of weeding knives that ure used. Approximately 1 acre per hour can be done. Once the robot has completed its task, or when the battery is low, it sends a text message to the operator. “Then it is time to take Dino back to the farm for recharging, which takes around 6 hours before it’s ready for another day of weeding.” According to Simon, the whole process is fairly simple from an operator’s point of view. “Once the map is created and the right tools are implemented, all I have to do is watch the robot work from my car.”Waas – Weeding As A ServiceAt the moment, Naïo Technologies is running the robots for the farmers in California, as part of its Waas programme (Waas stands for weeding as a service, see the box below for more information). “We want to show them what Dino can do, and how it works. The farmers we‘re working with are quite impressed. I get comments like: “We‘re not able to a job that good with our cultivator”. Or: “We‘ve never been able to cultivate our leek like that before”. Right now, we have enough work to run two robots for six days a week, so the growers we‘re working with really like it.”
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