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PixelCropRobot, a cartesian multitask platform for microfarms automation

Terra F.; Rodrigues L.; Magalhaes S.; Santos F.; Moura P.; Cunha M.;

2021 International Symposium of Asian Control Association on Intelligent Robotics and Industrial Automation, IRIA 2021

The world society needs to produce more food with the highest quality standards to feed the world population with the same level of nutrition. Microfarms and local food production enable growing vegetables near the population and reducing the operational logistics costs related to post-harvest food handling. However, it isn't economical viable neither efficient to have one person devoted to these microfarms task. To overcome this issue, we propose an open-source robotic solution capable of performing multitasks in small polyculture farms. This robot is equipped with optical sensors, manipulators and other mechatronic technology to monitor and process both biotic and abiotic agronomic data. This information supports the consequent activation of manipulators that perform several agricultural tasks: crop and weed detection, sowing and watering. The development of the robot meets low-cost requirements so that it can be a putative commercial solution. This solution is designed to be relevant as a test platform to support the assembly of new sensors and further develop new cognitive solutions, to raise awareness on topics related to Precision Agriculture. We are looking for a rational use of resources and several other aspects of an evolved, economically efficient and ecologically sustainable agriculture.