Australian engineer and robotics expert develops the worlds first solar powered ground robot with supporting intelligent software and the capability to conduct autonomous farm surveillance, mapping, classification, and detection for a variety of different vegetables.
The robot, now called “Ladybird” has a design specific to the vegetable industry. It focuses on broad acre agriculture and has an array of sensors for detecting vegetable growth and pest species, either plant or animal.
A single complete solar-electric charge provides the robot enough power to remain fully operational for three consecutive days on the farm.
Professor Salah Sukkarieh, specialist in robotics at the University of Sydney–led the research team and was awarded the “Researcher of the Year” award from the Australian Vegetable Industry on his outstanding work on this intelligent farm robot.
He says the automation of on-farm processes is poised to play a decisive role in minimising input and maximising output of future agriculture.
Automation can help to increase efficiency and yield, by having many of the manual tasks of farming performed by specially designed agricultural robotic devices.