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From: "Kees Schuur" <schuur@ecommovation.nl>
To: "Guy Waksman" <waksman@acta.asso.fr>
Subject: Fieldrobot day
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 14:50:02 +0200
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Status:  

Dear Guy,
 
For the EFITA newsletter?
 
Kees
 
Field robot day 2007
14 June: warming up, demonstration
15 June: competition
16 June: workshops
Location:
Wageningen,
The Netherlands.
See: http://www.fieldrobot.nl/
The Wageningen Field Robot Event shows a vision of the future of modern precision agriculture. Right now, a small revolution is taking place. A new breed of robots will soon be able to carry out a variety of tasks in row crops, such as weeding, spraying and disease monitoring. Agricultural robots working in a field, completely autonomous: the Field Robot Event proves this is possible!
 
Intelligent robots will compete in 4 complicated tasks:

1. Robust navigation in a maize field with curved rows
 
The robot should cover as much distance as possible in 3 minutes time while navigating between curved rows of a maize field, making a head-land turn and returning in the adjacent row. See figure 1 for illustration. If mother nature is willing to support this task, there won’t be plants missing in the rows.
This task is all about speed, accuracy and robustness of navigation and smoothness of operation.
Figure 1. Robust navigation in a maize field with curved rows.
 
2. Advanced robust navigation in a maize field with straight rows
 
The robot should cover as much distance as possible in 3 minutes time while navigating between straight rows of maize plants. The robot should be able to follow a certain pre-defined pattern over the field. See figure 2. At various places in the maize field, plants will be missing in either one or both rows over a length of maximally 1 m. A head-land of only 1.5 m will be available for turning.

Coding of the pattern of the path through the maize field is done as follows. S means Start, L means left-hand turn, R means right-hand turn, F means Finish, the number before the L or R represents the path that has to be entered after the turn. So, 2L means: enter the second path after a left-hand turn. 3R means: enter the third path after a right hand turn. The path shown in figure is coded as follows: S, L3, R2, L1, R1, R3, L2, R1, F.

Competitors may choose from two options:
1. use a path of which the code is made available upon registration. This path will be the same for all competitors.
2. use a path of which the code is made available to the competitors 1 hour before the start of the competition without having the opportunity to test it in the maize rows.
Clearly and definitely, good performance using option 2 will be rewarded with more points.

Figure 2. Advanced robust navigation along a complex pattern in a maize field with straight rows with plants missing
 
3. ‘Weed’ – control in a maize field
 
The robot should cover as much distance within 3 minutes time while navigating between straight rows of maize plants. In the maize field randomly distributed artificial weeds yellow golf balls have to be detected. Detection of a ‘weed’ should be demonstrated by producing a clear signal such as a flash-light or a sound. Additionally, a ‘weed-killing’ operation should be performed on the ‘weed’.

A set of 5 yellow golf balls that will be used during the event will be supplied to the competitors when they register.

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Figure 3. ‘Weed’-control in a maize field
 
4. Free style
 
Robots are invited to perform a free-style operation. Fun is important in this task but agricultural relevance is emphasized.
 
 
See: http://www.fieldrobot.nl/