Although we have heard of many agricultural robots still in development, there is at least one being sold on the market. It is called Slopehelper, and it is made primarily for use in vineyards.
The self-propelled electric scooter designed by the Slovenian runs on rubber tank-like pedestals and can be equipped with system-specific hinged tools for tasks such as mowing, weeding, and mulching. soil, spraying, aeration, trimming and trimming. True to its name, it can overcome steep slopes of up to 45 degrees, traveling at a maximum speed of 10 km / h (6 miles / hour).
The operator started by towing it on a rickshaw to the scene in question. Using a radio remote control, they then guided it out of the rickshaw manually and moved to the first tree row. They then program the parameters of the mission via a built-in interface, then put the car in autonomous mode.
Slopehelper then continues through the field while on its given mission, automatically moving up one row, returning at the end, then down to the next. It uses the Differential GNSS to maintain its position between the rows, and also uses sensors on both sides to determine the position of the vine.
The vehicle also uses FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) radar to detect obstacles and maintain a safe distance from people or animals. If it encounters a particularly difficult hurdle, it contacts its operator via an included app. They can then activate its optical camera system, which remotely instructs the vehicle as it removes or moves around obstacles.
That same application can be used to check the progress of the robot at any time and to notify the operator when work is completed. A single charge of the built-in lithium battery pack will last up to 14 hours.
The base package, which includes a power machine and four tools, is said to meet nearly 80% of a farmer’s annual needs while costs less than a tractor. You can see the vehicle in action, in the following video.
How it works. Self-employed