Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose going one step further in the simulation tools related to agriculture by integrating fleets of mobile robots for the execution of precision agriculture techniques. The proposed new simulation environment allows the user to define different mobiles robots and agricultural implements. Design/methodology/approach – With this computational tool, the crop field, the fleet of robots and the different sensors and actuators that are incorporated into each robot can be configured by means of two interfaces: a configuration interface and a graphical interface, which interact with each other. Findings – The system presented in this article unifies two very different areas – robotics and agriculture – to study and evaluate the implementation of precision agriculture techniques in a 3D virtual world. The simulation environment allows the users to represent realistic characteristics from a defined location and to model different variabilities that may affect the task performance accuracy of the fleet of robots. Originality/value – This simulation environment, the first in incorporating fleets of heterogeneous mobile robots, provides realistic 3D simulations and videos, which grant a good representation and a better understanding of the robot labor in agricultural activities for researchers and engineers from different areas, who could be involved in the design and application of precision agriculture techniques. The environment is available at the internet, which is an added value for its expansion in the agriculture/robotics family.
Industrial Robot: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2013
Keywords: Agriculture; Robots; Simulation; Crops; Precision agriculture; Autonomous robots; Simulation environment; Fleet of robots; Weed management
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