Robot point-of-view: TTS automatic transplanter
Steps to become a 'real' agriculture robot
Yes, the TTS automatic transplanter is significantly larger and heavier machine than what you may think of when talking about agriculture field robots or 'ducksize'. But the transplanting machine is an example of a 100% robot application in agriculture. Why this is a robot? Literally the people that where normally sitting on the back of the transplanting machine, are now being replaced by a mechanisme with actuators and sensor: The robot. So the very repetitive task is eliminated, while the task of loading the machine and driving the tractor are steel manual. Note, driving straight is also often already automated with RTK GPS solution. But if you did expect self-driving autonomous vehicle, without any human interaction, it's definitely worth to continue reading!
What is the definition of an agriculture robot?
Autonomous vehicle, able to drive in a changing field
Able to operate in plants, that are you unique by nature
Able to perform an activity, beneficial to farming
What are the challenges to develop an agriculture robot?
Understanding of what tasks are best to automate
Capability to develop technology and reduce its complexity
Willingness to pioneer
Possibility to invest time and money
Determine the first tasks to be done by an agriculture robot
From mopping the floor to a military drone. There are already millions of robots. By looking at what robots are already doing in other sectors, it is also better to understand what the use could be for agriculture.
Selecting repetitive tasks for agriculture robots
For agriculture robots, this are millions of cross industry examples to learn from. National Geographic made an extensive approach to robots, showing what the commonality between these are. The first tasks to select for you agriculture robot:
It's starting with repetitive task
If you want to grow as a company, but there are tasks that make employees dislike working for you ... then the robot can offer a solution.
Companies are encouraged by subsidies to choose robots over humans. That also involves sentiment.
Don't look at current tractors, look at people
Don't look at what is done by the existing machines, but it looks at what is done by humans. Not looking at the current hoeing machine, not looking at the plow…. But according to which actions man repeatedly does. Not so much looking at how much fuel is being saved, more a look at what keeps employees excited. The automatic transplanter of TTS is replacing what's done by humans, therefore a fit to an agriculture robot on this perspective.