Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics can help farmers to produce higher-quality food and have less impact on the environment. However, training and testing of agriculture robots is time consuming and expensive, because this usually happens in a physical environment and often involves the robot breaking down. In our project, we create a digital version of the robot that is tested and trained in a simulated environment. This way, training and testing of robots becomes faster and cheaper.
Focus points of the project
We will do so by building a demo setup with a robot in an environment that will mimick a real-world secenario. At the same time we will train a digital twin of this robot in a simulated environment. Steps to take are:
Succes indicators for the demo are when the robot is able to ..
🍒 proper navigation within the physical environement, without damaging itself.
🥝 detect fruits and classify them correctly.
🍍 grasp the fruit based on the sensory information it has.
🍎 autonomously retrieve the fruits, and is able to collect them, based on easy command.
🥥 By 2050 there are expected to be 9 billion people on Earth. The planet must produce more food in the next four decades than all farmers in history have harvested over the past 8,000 years due to population growth. (Dutch Review)
🍊 Agricultural machines are becoming bigger and bigger, and with that, the burden on the soil by the weight of these machines increases. (Ucsusa.org)
🍉 Existing soil cultivating solutions are focused on a Monoculture for efficiency of the work. Monoculture exhausts soil fertility, requiring costly applications of chemical fertilisers. (Ucsusa.org)
🥝 Lost biodiversity. Industrial farms don’t support the rich range of life that more diverse farms do. As a result, the land suffers from a shortage of the ecosystem services, such as pollination, that a more diverse landscape offers. (Ucsusa.org)
🥥 Robotic solutions such as Pixelfarming can increase the biodiversity and proper usage of the soil, decreasing the weigth of the machinery used for managing and cultivating this soil. (Pixel farming robotics)
🍊 Agricultural robots can replace burdensome work for farmers. In some cases these robots even preform better then humans do in a specific task. (Octinion)