Fendt vision offers robot future

10 Sep, 2016 02:00 AM
Autonomous robot swarms are the future of farming if Fendt's MARS project comes to fruition.
Autonomous robot swarms are the future of farming if Fendt's MARS project comes to fruition.

Agco company, Fendt has released its vision of the farming future involving swarms of autonomous robots.

Together with academic partners, the company is researching autonomous robot use in farming in a project named MARS (Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms).

The project is focussed on sowing maize with field robots that can “automatically and highly precisely enable site-specific adjustment of the sowing pattern and sowing rate as well as the exact documentation of each seed”.

The battery-powered, electric drive, low weight robots could also allow sowing under conditions where conventional farming cannot be used, due to light, ground conditions or noise emissions.

Fendt says the system is accessed and controlled using an app independent of location which allows selection of the field, seeds, seeding pattern and density as well as the number of robots to be used.

An intelligent algorithm (OptiVisor) then plans the robot operations based on the parameters entered and calculates the time required to complete the task.

As soon as an in-field logistics unit has been positioned, the robots are started with the app.

While they are working, the robots communicate with the cloud so that geo coordinates can be saved for the location of each seed.

According to Fendt the OptiVisor algorithm guarantees reliable sowing of maize kernels at all times.

If a robot should ever fail, its task is immediately taken over by the other units and OptiVisor monitors the battery status.

Tom McKenny

Tom McKenny

is the national machinery writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media


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