Ladybird Agricultural Robot Is Solar-Powered

The Ladybird solar-powered agricultural robot can drive autonomously up and down rows on farms, diligently recording the process with sensors that include lasers, cameras and hyper spectral cameras.


(Ladybird solar-powered agricultural robot)

The "Ladybird " was designed and built specifically for the vegetable industry with the aim of creating a ground robot with supporting intelligent software and the capability to conduct autonomous farm surveillance, mapping, classification, and detection for a variety of different vegetables.

Professor Sukkarieh who leads a research team dedicated to the advancement of agricultural robotics says his group aims to redefine key areas of field robotics such as sensory technology, materials development and complex autonomous mechanisms.

He says the automation of on-farm processes is poised to play a decisive role in minimising input and maximising output of future agriculture. Automation can help to increase efficiency and yield, by having many of the manual tasks of farming performed by specially designed agricultural robotic devices.

"Ladybird focuses on broad acre agriculture and is solar-electric powered. It has an array of sensors for detecting vegetable growth and pest species, either plant or animal.

She also has a robotic arm for the purposes of removing weeds as well as the potential for autonomous harvesting," says Professor Sukkarieh.


(Ladybird robot with solar cell carapice)

Science fiction fans recall the 1972 sf movie Silent Running, in which Bruce Dern took care of his garden with the help of similar-looking robots.


(Gardening robots from Silent Running)

Hopefully, the Ladybird's creators will take note of the agricultural pest controller from Michael Crichton's movie Runaway as well.


(Agbot emerges from the stalks)

The earliest reference to the idea of agricultural robots, as far as I know, is the robot gardener from Philip K Dick's 1955 story War Veteran.

Via Nanowerk.

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