González de Santos, Pablo; Ribeiro Seijas, Ángela; Fernández Quintanilla, Cesar; López Granados, Francisca; Brandstoetter, Michael; Tomic, Slobodanka; Pedrazzi, Stefania; Peruzzi, Andrea; Pajares, Gonzalo; Kaplanis, George; Pérez Ruiz, Manuel; Valero Ubierna, Constantino; Cerro Giner, Jaime del; Vieri, Marco; Rabatel, Gilles y Debilde, Benoit
Fleets of robots for environmentally-safe pest control in agriculture.
Feeding the growing global population requires an annual increase in food production. This requirement suggests an increase in the use of pesticides, which represents an unsustainable chemical load for the environment. To reduce pesticide input and preserve the environment while maintaining the necessary level of food production, the efficiency of relevant processes must be drastically improved. Within this context, this research strived to design, develop, test and assess a new generation of automatic and robotic systems for effective weed and pest control aimed at diminishing the use of agricultural chemical inputs, increasing crop quality and improving the health and safety of production operators. To achieve this overall objective, a fleet of heterogeneous ground and aerial robots was developed and equipped with innovative sensors, enhanced end-effectors and improved decision control algorithms to cover a large variety of agricultural situations. This article describes the scientific and technical objectives, challenges and outcomes achieved in three common crops.