Precision agriculture is a key topic in robotics. The incursion of the robots in the agriculture is becoming a reality the last years and, nowadays, robotics are not only used for crop monitoring, like aerial inspection for growth control, but is taking a key role in the daily life of the farmers and producers. The introduction of advanced sensing capabilities allows monitoring at plant level, spotting problems before they spread. Furthermore, introducing farming robots, chemicals can be applied with honeybee precision, pesticides and fungicides can be used only when needed and in the smallest necessary amount. Heavy tasks like pruning, seeding or even precise harvesting are the target topics of the robotics in agriculture.
GRAPE (GroundRobot for vineyArd Monitoring and ProtEction) is an Echord++ experiment on Agricultural and Food Robotics. It focuses on the automatic deployment of pheromone dispenser for matting disruption in vineyards using an autonomous ground robot equipped with a robotic arm. The project is developing the on-board intelligence, ranging from autonomous navigation algorithms to perception and manipulation. The system is able to navigate autonomously over different type of terrain in vineyards. The localization is based on the hybridization of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Positioning) and local sensors. The robot is equipped with laser scanners that are concatenated across time and space to generate a three-dimensional reconstruction of the plants. This serves both for monitoring of the growth and planning of manipulation tasks.
The consortium of the project is composed by Eurecat, University Politecnico di Milano and Vitirover. GRAPE project is founded by Echord++ program from the European Commission.
GRAPE – Ground Robot for Vineyard Monitoring and Protection
Programme and call for tender
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement Num. 601116