Autonomous Robots in Agriculture: where we are and what's next (November, 12, 2020 at 9 AM Natal local time)
Agriculture has benefited from autonomous robots for a considerable time. Since the 1980’s researchers and companies around the world have been developing new equipments to assist farmers aiming to increase food production and reduce costs. When it comes to the production chain, the scope of their application cover soil preparation, pre-harvesting, harvesting, post-harvesting, distribution, etc. Mainly concentrated in metropolitan areas, the world population is growing, which makes these robots extremely necessary. Not to mention the climate change and environmental issues.
Contrary to what is widely believed, developing autonomous robots for agriculture has proved to be complex and time consuming. Field robots have to cope with temperature, brightness and humidity variations. The presence of unknown obstacles, such as mud, holes, stones, fences, soil erosion, animals, machines, people and other crops is also challenging.
For this talk, I have prepared a short historic overview and the challenges we have been facing. USP-EESC-LabRoM in cooperation with partners in Brazil and abroad are carrying out some projects I will present you, hoping we have a glance of the next steps we will take.