Rhoban came to robotics in agriculture by applying its technologies regarding autonomous robotics and control. And also because some Rhoban people like to work outdoor ;). We strongly believe that the time of robotics in agriculture is now. From the technical point of view, two major issues got enormous progresses during the past decade: vision and geo-localisation. This makes realistic the deployment of useful operational robots. From a more global point of view, robotics in agriculture offers an alternative to chemistry. For instance centimetric weeding driven by vision or GNSS systems allows to significantly save chemistry use. It also opens the way to energy/resources economy. For instance, centimetric controlled seeding allows strip till techniques which save earth biological equilibrium. And finally, robotics has a large potential of hard working assistance and support.

Even if centimetric geo-localisation is today possible, the high costs remains a big issue slowing down a general deployment of precision farming. We are attached to design and deploy��low cost geolocalisation technologies. Please have a look to a fully autonomous vehicle that we designed on this basis. This project got the “prix spécial du jury” Vinitech 2014.

Cost effectiveness can also be reached by designing modular systems; we are interested to make converge vision, geolocalisation and big data technologies (more about that later���).

We have designed a fully autonomous vehicle on the basis of a small backhoe. All the hydraulic functions are controlled (the track, the arm and the tool), the backhoe moves with a centimetric precision thanks to a low cost GNSS solution that we developed. The vehicle is applied to the trellising of vine stocks. Please have a look at it moving��here.

An other project is the design of a machine allowing automatic driven weeding. The device is a plug to be used between the tractor and the weeding equipment. The device is equipped with vision system and geo-localisation system.

We are also interested into lightweight robots like the Vitirover.

Collaborations

ATH, pépinières Duvigneau, RAZOL, Vitirover, Bordeaux Science Agro, R&Drone.

European and National Consortiums
  • VVINNER – European Eco-Innovation Project
  • DRONEO – FUI Project