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ROBOTICS IN AGRICULTURE

Rajesh Singh, Anita Gehlot, Mahendra Swain, Nitish Katal
  • Country of Origin:

  • Imprint:

    NIPA

  • eISBN:

    9789391383565

  • Binding:

    EBook

  • Number Of Pages:

    120

  • Language:

    English

Individual Price: 202.15 USD 181.94 USD

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This book is a platform for anyone who wishes to explore robotics in the field of agriculture and broaden their understanding and its uses.

This book offers an expert system with proper examples to understand. The book also covers the basics of robotics with example so that anyone can easily understand the concept. The book is divided into fifteen chapters and explores the areas where robotics can play an important role to enhance the efficiency and productivity in agricultural field.

After reading this book, you'll understand what robotics is, where it is applicable, and what are its different branches, which can be useful in different scenarios.

0 Start Pages

Preface This book is a platform for anyone who wishes to explore robotics in the field of agriculture and broaden their understanding and its uses. This book offers an expert system with proper examples to understand. This book also covers the basics of robotics with example so that anyone can easily understand the concept. The book is divided into fifteen chapters and explores the areas where robotics can play an important role to enhance the efficiency and productivity in agricultural field.

 
1 Introduction to Robot

Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains began 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture. This chapter discusses about the agriculture and robotics in agricultural field. 1.1 Introduction to Agriculture The word agriculture is derived from a Latin word- “agri” means soil, and “culture” means cultivation of the soil. In modern terms, agriculture comprises “the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops and rearing livestock.” Farming is a complete system which includes inputs, processing, and outputs. The inputs are seeds, fertilizers, machinery, which undergoes operations like ploughing, sowing, irrigation, weeding, and harvesting. The final outputs are like crops, dairy and poultry products.

1 - 2 (2 Pages)
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2 Introduction to Internet of things

The Internet of things connects the devices over Internet. The devices can communicate with each other and can be monitored and controlled remotely. The IoT is a system with interrelated computing devices, digital and mechanical machines, objects, animals or people each with an unique identifiers (UIDs ). It has the ability to transfer data over a network without human intervention. The Internet of Things is simply a network with Internet connecting the objects to collect and exchange the data. This chapter covers the basics of Internet of Things and its components. 2.1 Characteristics of IoT Internet of Things can be used to design products for businesses. The added value to the businesses over IoT is created by the information which is collected by connected devices. The process has five phases of lifecycle, first phase is ‘create phase’, where sensors collects the data from environment. This data can generate the information. Second is ‘communicate phase’ where data generated in first phase is communicated to the required destination. Third is ‘aggregate phase’ where collected data over network is aggregated by device itself. Fourth is ‘analyse phase’ where aggregated data is used to generate patterns and use it to control and optimize the process. Fifth is ‘act phase’ where actions are taken on the basis of information extracted from the aggregated data. The characteristics of IoT may vary from one domain to other. Few characteristics are listed as follows-

3 - 6 (4 Pages)
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3 Robots in Agriculture

This chapter describes the components to design the mobile platform. The UN estimates the world population will rise from 7.3 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. The world will need a lot more food, and farmers will face serious pressure to keep up with demand. Agricultural robots can be used to increase the production yields for farmers in various ways. 3.1 Role of Robots in Agriculture A challenging problem in Mechanical Engineering and robotics is the design of a mobile robot. The robot must successfully traverse through its environment, including rough terrain, grass, hills, etc. For correct positioning of the robot, the wheels of the robot must have good traction and never lose contact with the ground. For improved manoeuvrability the robot must also be able to rotate around a centre point as close to its centre of mass as possible. All of these factors have been considered in the design of a second generation outdoor de- mining robot. A rectangular frame for the robot allows the easier positioning and accessibility of parts within the robot, which is useful in the development phase. Having the wheels up front helps the robot drive onto a slope. A circular frame for the robot would allow the robot to rotate around its true centre, such a frame, with the wheel axle running along the diameter of the frame would need support at the front and back of the robot.

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4 Sensor, Actuator and Development Board

Sensor is a device which converts environmental parameters into electrical signals. In the broad definition, it is a device, module, machine, or subsystem which is designed to detect events or changes in the environment and send the information to other electronics components. An actuator is a component of a machine which is responsible for moving and controlling a system. A microcontroller is a small computer on a single metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chip. This chapter explains the microcontroller development boards and their components along with the classifications of sensors and actuators. 4.1 Classification of Sensors The sensors can be classified on the basis of different areas as follows- i. Classification based on Application Sensors are chosen on the basis of application where they need to be implemented like Industrial process control, measurement and automation, Automobiles, Consumer electronics, Aircraft, Medical products etc. As with change in application the selection criteria changes, so application needs to be considered.

27 - 44 (18 Pages)
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5 Communication Module

The communication module is a device which is used to control the communication between the stations. This chapter explores the different communication modules and their specifications. 5.1 WiFi ESP8266 WiFi Module is a WiFi serial transceiver module. This chip has a full TCP/IP protocol stack with the computational power onboard. This makes the board simple to use as Wi-Fi connection board. The specification of this board includes, 32-pin QFN package, Integrated RF switch, Integrated RISC processor. It has on-chip memory with external memory interfaces, integrated MAC/baseband processors, Quality of Service management, on chip regulator, Integrated WEP, TKIP, AES, and WAPI engines, 11 b/g/n. It has integrated TCP/IP protocol stack and Integrated PLLs, regulators, DCXO and power management units. It has +19.5dBm output power in 802.11b mode and Power down leakage current of <10uA 5.2 Bluetooth Bluetooth is a wireless protocol. The recent introduction of Bluetooth with Low Energy extension is also as iBeacon. The advantage of BLE4.0 standard includes the low power consumption, which makes it a better option to be used in smart phones. This facilitates the setup of a mesh network of Bluetooth devices, with lower latency and higher range respect to standard Bluetooth. This is a SMD BLE module based on TI cc2541 chip. It has low cost, small and easy to use. The preloaded firmware allows to build BLE communications with AT command. It supports communication with iPhone, iPad (iOS 5.0 or greater) and Android 4.3 or greater. It works on frequency: 2.4 GHz ISM band and modulation method is GFSK (Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying). It has transmission power: - DBM, 23-6 DBM, 0 DBM, 6 DBM, can be modified by the AT command. It works on baud rate 9600bps. It can operate on temperature range -40 ~ 125°C. Another interesting board is the HC-05 Bluetooth module. Specifications of the works Master/Slave configurations. It operates on frequency of 2.4GHz ISM band with Modulation GFSK(Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying).

45 - 46 (2 Pages)
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6 Robotics in Nursery Planting

Robots can replace human efforts in the future. Discovery of robots in agriculture is going to accelerate the growth of agriculture 4.0. Nursery planting needs robust and profitable solutions. Nursery plants deals with the direct consumer, which is the primary stage of agriculture. An intensive care is required to look after the nursery plant before going to be planted. Now a days robots are used to monitor the plants, essentially to maintain the health standard of a plant. This chapter illustrate the applications of the robots in nursery planting. 6.1 Introduction Nursery is the primary stage where seeds are grown in to the young plants. Nursery planting involves many activities like seeding, potting and monitoring. The process required high attention to look after at this stage [1]. As the food demand is increasing day by day, it is necessary to adapt unconventional way of farming. Bringing robots in to the farming will bring a lot of changes in the traditional agriculture. The robotics in agriculture is not new, it has started with evolution of autonomous vehicles [2]. The usage of robots are increasing exponentially. So the researcher and scientist also started use of robots in agriculture. They found a phenomenal result in term of easy to handle the agro tasks, seeding, weeding, automatic irrigation and harvesting. It draws the farmer attention down the line [3].

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7 Robotics in Crop Seeding

Agriculture is the backbone of India. Evolution in technology is bringing new dimensions of conventional agriculture. Looking towards the current food demands it is very crucial to maintain the food supply. According to UN (United Nations), by 2050 the world population will be increased to around 9.3 billion which increases the food need. As the technology in agriculture evolving it seems that we could be able transform conventional farming to unconventional and traditional to modernization by the help of agriculture robots. Agri-bots can be autonomous with human intervention that could perform the task precisely. Chapter illustrates the applications in agriculture seeding. These robots are efficiently used in crop seeding. 7.1 Introduction The very first agriculture robots were used in the early 1920s along with autonomous vehicle development. Agro robots are becoming an ongoing pattern in farming with lots of research advancement and business models [1]. Agrarian robots have huge focal points as far as adaptability, flexibility and ecological advantages contrasted with customary horticultural apparatus and speak to an extraordinary resource for cutting edge precision agribusiness. Numerous advances in machine vision with imaging and otherworldly cam-periods for distinguishing weeds, vermin and infections, supplement inadequacies in soil or plant leaves have given profound applications to be mounted on independent vehicles for exploring soil and crops and for additional downstream choice help and control [2]. The mechanical network has additionally made earth shattering upgrades and advancements as far as utilizing a far reaching working framework, the Robotic Operating System (ROS), just as applying strong stages and route calculations. Comparable to horticultural robots, the attributes of the central framework of robots are the lightweight, little size and lively self-governance [3]. Lightweight implies that the vehicle requires lower impetus vitality and incites less soil compaction while simultaneously the vehicle must be little for security reasons, for accomplishing more noteworthy accuracy during execution of assignments and having more maneuverability inside the field to limit turning delays.

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8 Robotics in Crop Monitoring and Analysis

Precision Agriculture is fulfilled by adapting suitable monitoring and analysis mechanisms. Autonomous monitoring is getting a new dimension using robots. Agriculture is the trending area to attract new professionals, investors and new companies. The technology in agriculture is not only increasing the yields but the time and labour. This chapter illustrates the use of robotics in crop monitoring and analysis. 8.1 Introduction Monitoring of agriculture farm enhance the productivity. Evolution in technologies in the era of agriculture brought a lot of innovations. Among these innovations robots are one of them to be implemented in agriculture to enhance profitability and reliability with minimum human resource. At the same robots were deployed to monitor the farming land from weeds and try to remove these. Due to which uses of agrochemicals reduced down the time line. When precision farming came in to the pictures robots are the best use cases. In fig. 8.1 autonomous mechanical robots are shown, which are used to remove the weed from farming land. Robots are equipped with sensor modules, actuators and IoT enabled which makes the things very easy to control from remote area with commands.

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9 Robotics in Fertilizing and Irrigation

Agriculture irrigation is a crucial part of precision farming. An irrigation system required a lot concentration to grow the plant healthy. A smart irrigation system in an agriculture farm leads to maximum profits in terms of yield. Integrating technologies like IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) in irrigation accomplish to the human efforts. Controlling of water pumps, sprinklers seamlessly draws the kind attention of farmer to adapt these technologies in their day today farming schedules. This chapter illustrates a wide variety of robots used in irrigation to achieve maximum yield and minimizing water loss. The high scalability and reliabilities of these autonomous robots replicates the potential of agriculture 4.0 in coming future. Advanced robots deployed on the field to monitor the land and pass the information to the controllers and further to the water pumps. Here case study of robots is highlighted to reduce water losses by using nozzles mechanisms. 9.1 Introduction Agriculture faces many environmental challenges. As far as the irrigation in agriculture is concerned it is very essential to maintain soil hydrated and water level in the field. Robotic irrigation enables autonomous irrigation from remote access [3]. Smart irrigation technique enables a lot of water saving. So robotic in agriculture plays a very crucial role in it [2]. In order to avoid water losses agro robots adapt smart irrigation techniques like droplet irrigation and sprinkling. To maintain sustainability, water resource management is required. Technologies like drones, smart sprinkler based on IoT, smart droplet irrigation used across the globe. These technologies have the greatest impact on productivity and sustainability of the environment as well. As far as the country India is concerned, due to diversity in geographical infrastructures rainfall changes from state to states. So, a wide range of water diversity is found to grow agricultural foods. For example northeast and southern part of India due to heavy rainfall paddy cultivation is preferred since it requires a lot of water. Whereas the northern part of India observe a moderate rainfall, so vegetables and other agriculture foods get cultivated. At the same there are certain states like Rajsthan, Gujrat where very less rainfall occurs through varieties of crops related to dal.

65 - 70 (6 Pages)
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10 Robotics in Crop Weeding and Spraying

Weed control in agriculture disturbs the farming. Weed management and control essentially increase productivity of the farm. Autonomous robots for weed control systems are gaining a lot of attention. Adaptability of effective weed control robots has the potential to bring evolution in the areas of weed species, genetics and climate conditions. Weed control is one of the major challenges in agriculture. Removal of weeds from farming land required a lot of human effort. To minimize the weed growth pesticides and chemicals are used which is very harmful. In order to make this process easy and reliable robots are used nowadays. Robots are specially designed to detect the weeds and remove them within a stipulated time period. Robots are programmed using various algorithms to do this task in an efficient way without human efforts. This chapter illustrates the use of modern robots in weed control to help the farmers to gain maximum profit and healthy concerns without using chemicals to do so. 10.1 Introduction Over the time, weed control in a farming land has been an issue. Evolution in technologies in the area of agriculture brought a lot of innovations. Among these robots are one of the innovations to be implemented in agriculture to enhance profitability and reliability with minimum human resource. The robots are deployed to monitor the farming land from weeds and try to remove these. Due to which uses of agrochemicals reduced down the timeline. When precision farming came into the picture robots are the best use cases. An autonomous mechanical robot was used to remove the weed from farming land. Robots are equipped with sensor modules, actuators and IoT enabled which makes the things very easy to control from remote area with commands [4].

71 - 78 (8 Pages)
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11 Robotics in thinning and Pruning

In the wild (forests) plants grow by their own, but in agriculture because of limited space they don’t have freedom to grow in a much natural way. This can lead to structural irregularities in their growth, and can hamper the overall plant’s development and this will impact the produce or crop yield. To deal with such constraints and to boost the crop production, the methods of thinning and pruning provide efficient ways to train the growth of young plants and maintain the health of grown-up plants. 11.1 Introduction In agriculture, thinning means the removal of some plants or some parts of plants that show inconsistent growth and or are damaged by some pest or disease, without removing the whole tree or plant. The selective removal of branches, buds or roots is termed as pruning [1]. If the plants are overcrowded in a confined space, the overall health of the crop decreases due to the competitive stress from the neighbouring plants. Thinning and pruning is done to improve the growth rate or health of the plants by decreasing the competitive stress. Thinning and pruning in agriculture is the sensible removal of plant parts such as flowers, shoots, its branches or other parts to correct or maintain that structure of the tree and control be directed growth of the crop. This practice covers the precise removal of the unhealthy and obstructive part of the plant branch, leaves, fruits, buds, fruits, etc. Pruning improves the quality and longevity of the crop, leading to quality produce and increased yield of the field. This also helps in increasing the size of the fruit as it increases the availability of nitrogen required for growing and stimulating growth of the crop. There are several factors that influence the amount of pruning to be done, i.e., age of the plant, condition of the bark and wood, growth characteristics, whether cup crop/plantation is permanent or seasonal [2]. Pruning is done for controlling the size of the plant, controlling the structure makeup of the plant, controlling and improving the light distribution of the plants by the selective removal of leaves to improve the quality of the fruits, removing the diseased parts of the plant and to regulate the fruit crop and increase the life of the tree.

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11 Robotics in thinning and Pruning

In the wild (forests) plants grow by their own, but in agriculture because of limited space they don’t have freedom to grow in a much natural way. This can lead to structural irregularities in their growth, and can hamper the overall plant’s development and this will impact the produce or crop yield. To deal with such constraints and to boost the crop production, the methods of thinning and pruning provide efficient ways to train the growth of young plants and maintain the health of grown-up plants. 11.1 Introduction In agriculture, thinning means the removal of some plants or some parts of plants that show inconsistent growth and or are damaged by some pest or disease, without removing the whole tree or plant. The selective removal of branches, buds or roots is termed as pruning [1]. If the plants are overcrowded in a confined space, the overall health of the crop decreases due to the competitive stress from the neighbouring plants. Thinning and pruning is done to improve the growth rate or health of the plants by decreasing the competitive stress. Thinning and pruning in agriculture is the sensible removal of plant parts such as flowers, shoots, its branches or other parts to correct or maintain that structure of the tree and control be directed growth of the crop. This practice covers the precise removal of the unhealthy and obstructive part of the plant branch, leaves, fruits, buds, fruits, etc. Pruning improves the quality and longevity of the crop, leading to quality produce and increased yield of the field. This also helps in increasing the size of the fruit as it increases the availability of nitrogen required for growing and stimulating growth of the crop. There are several factors that influence the amount of pruning to be done, i.e., age of the plant, condition of the bark and wood, growth characteristics, whether cup crop/plantation is permanent or seasonal [2]. Pruning is done for controlling the size of the plant, controlling the structure makeup of the plant, controlling and improving the light distribution of the plants by the selective removal of leaves to improve the quality of the fruits, removing the diseased parts of the plant and to regulate the fruit crop and increase the life of the tree. The principle behind thinning and pruning is to admit more sunlight to the branches that bear fruit by the selective removal of the unproductive branches which obstruct the sunlight to fall on the productive branches to increase the productivity white and vitality of the plant to obtain optimum healed of good quality crop [3]. Young trees are pruned so that they acquire the desired shape. In old trees it is done to stimulate flowering. In plants bearing fruits or crops, pruning is done to allow adequate sunlight to fall on fruit bearing branches, so that quality crop is produced. Very old plants heavy pruning is done to restore the vigour of the plant. It is also done so that the loss of nutrients being shared by the diseased peak or shading branches is reduced. The use of robotics and other automated systems can aid in the precise pruning and thinning of the crop. This will also automate the whole process and will save their requirement on the extensive manpower which ultimately saves time.

79 - 84 (6 Pages)
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12 Robotics in Autonomous tractors

To cater the increased demand of food, it will be required that farmers are equipped with tools and methods to improve their yields and make informed decisions [1]. Also, with the increase in population, the agricultural land is decreasing by 1 lakh hectares per year and it is required to double the agricultural produce in the next 30 years to sustain the global food requirements. The improvements in various technological fields like machine learning, navigation, robotics etc. and their applications in agriculture is required to meet this increasing need. One of the factors is to make the farmland ready for sowing the crops, spraying, etc. and this has to be done in a precise and faster manner to address the latter issues. So, the uses of autonomous tractors for such jobs offer accurate, precise and timely preparation of the fields for the cultivation. 12.1 Introduction Autonomous tractors or driverless tractors are unmanned ground vehicles mainly employed in agriculture for various purpose like preparation of land for the crops, harvesting, spraying, and other agricultural purposes. They are equipped with GPS, autopilot, cameras, lasers (LiDAR), and other wireless technologies navigation and mutual coordination and offer saving of both the manpower and time. These autonomous tractors can be programmed to navigate their paths through the fields and are designed to avoid the obstacles while doing their jobs. These tractors automate various laborious field jobs and also minimize human intervention in the process. These autonomous machines are regarded to revolutionize the agriculture industry and offer safety, sharing of resources, economical solutions per square area of land, etc. Several industries like Jhon Dheere, AgraBots, EcoRobotix, RowBot, etc.

85 - 90 (6 Pages)
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13 Robotics in Picking and Harvesting

Harvesting is one of the most labour intensive jobs in agriculture, and by implying the robotics in harvesting, the quantity of the harvested yield can be readily increased, thus saving a lot of time and human resources. This also aids in reducing the farm to market transportation times. The use of robotics can also reduce the seasonal requirement of the manual labour and thus reduce the recurring costs. 13.1 Introduction The incorporation of robotics in agriculture has proved to be advantages for the farmers and thus for the economy. The automation of various agricultural processes led to the reduction of the operational costs and also in the reduction of the labour required. A possible solution to address the problems of labour availability and scaling up the harvesting of the crop is the incorporation of robotics.

91 - 96 (6 Pages)
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14 Robotics in Shepherding and Herding

The development of the civilisation humans have tried to domesticate the animals. Initially dogs were known to be the first pet domesticated by humans followed by the domestication of other animals like cattle, horses, sheep etc. 14.1 Introduction When humans started to domesticate the animal, they have tried several ways to control them. Generally these animals are released in free space to graze and one of the known problems is to prevent them from overgrazing. So building a fence is one of the ways to limit their movement is one viable solution, but building a fence is limited to a smaller area. Since these animals are locked in a large number, so building a bigger fence and moving it every time for grazing is not viable. It can be observed in the history of humankind as that civilisation progressed the use of Shepherd dogs has been one of the widely accepted. Shepherd dogs not only help in shepherding and herding but also prevents these livestock from wolves The incorporation of robotics will not only automate the process intelligently but also keep a vigil on various aspects of livestock management. In recent years there has been a substantial development in this regard. The development of robotic dogs for shepherding and herding purposes has found a lot of increment developments. SPOT developed by Boston dynamics and SwagBot developed by University of Sydney, are well-known robots developed in recent times for the purpose. These robots are equipped with multiple sensors like LiDAR, gas and heat sensors, high-resolution cameras etc. The array of sensors are used to capture the data in real-time and is then used for decision-making processes. Also these reports are built to be rugged and can navigate on a variety of terrains.

97 - 102 (6 Pages)
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15 Robotics in Milking

Milk revolution with change in technology is gaining attention in India. Robotic milking reduces labour and increases efficiency irrespective of large dairy farms. A typical system requires a large camera- and spray-system robot. When activated to apply the disinfectant, the robot sends a six-foot- long pipe with the sprayer under the cow. These floor-mounted robots require expensive installation into the floor of the milking parlour, as well as fencing for employee protection. 15.1 Introduction Mechanical draining has increased broad acknowledgment, especially in Western Europe, as an approach to lessen labor on dairy ranches, increment creation per cow, and improve the way of life of dairy ranch families draining 40 to 250 cows (De Koning, 2010). The developing ubiquity of this innovation is obvious in its fast pace. In 2009, the evaluated number of automated dairy ranches overall was 8,000 (De Koning, 2010). Only 6yr later, Barkema et al. (2015) proposed that this number had dramatically multiplied to 25,000 dairy ranches around the world. The level of groups utilizing this technology is most noteworthy in Scandinavian nations and the Netherlands (Barkema et al., 2015). Broad selection in these nations proposes in any event a proportion of accomplishment in helping dairy ranchers accomplish more noteworthy work productivity and a superior way of life, yet field experience recommends that wide variety exists in the measure of work spared and in the general fulfilment of early adopters.

103 - 107 (5 Pages)
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