Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land

“Multi-Robot Farming on Marginal, Highly Sloped Lands” is a three-year, $1,178,191 grant project from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Robotics Initiative 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots, headed by Dan Flippo, assistant professor in the biological and agricultural engineering department.


(Robotic farming on highly sloped land)

This project will explore use of multiple small robots to farm highly sloped land. The robots, the size of a common wheelchair, will work in groups to accomplish fieldwork by unconventional means. Strap-on hardware modules will be designed to allow the small vehicles to plant, manage and harvest wheat on hills with slopes as great as 55 percent, or 30 degrees.

Joining Dan Flippo in the endeavor at Kansas State University are Stephen Welch, professor, and Antonio Asebedo, assistant professor, both in agronomy; Arnaud Temme, associate professor of geography; and Sanjoy Das, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

“The outcome will be a total agriculture farming system melding unmanned aerial flyovers of the field and robotic planting-management-harvest systems to provide the extra yield needed to meet the 2050 dilemma,” Flippo said. “The system will be scalable, configurable and foreshadow the future of agricultural automation.”

I hope I can be forgiven for pointing out that the most highly sloped land you can find is on a cylindrical O'Neill colony space station, as in this excerpt from Larry Niven's 1966 story At the Bottom of a Hole:

Five miles above the sunlight tube, the sky was a patchwork of small squares, split by a central wedding ring of lake and by tributary rivers, a sky alive with the tiny red glints of self-guided tractor.


(Cylindrical space colony)

You might also like this story Once A Jolly Swagbot Camped By A Billabong.

Via High Plains Journal. (heh)

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