Intelligent sensing and manipulation for sustainable production and harvesting of high value crops, clever robots for crops
CROPS has developed scientific know-how for a highly configurable, modular and clever carrier platform that includes modular parallel manipulators and intelligent tools (sensors, algorithms, sprayers, grippers) that can be easily installed onto the carrier and are capable of adapting to new tasks and conditions. Several technological demonstrators have been developed for high value crops like greenhouse vegetables, fruits in orchards, and grapes for premium wines. The CROPS robotic platform is capable of site-specific spraying (targets spray only towards foliage and selective targets) and selective harvesting of fruit (detects the fruit, determines its ripeness, moves towards the fruit, grasps it and softly detaches it). Another objective of CROPS was to develop techniques for reliable detection and classification of obstacles and other objects to enable successful autonomous navigation and operation in plantations and forests. The agricultural and forestry applications share many research areas, primarily regarding sensing and learning capabilities.