A Semi-Autonomous Multi-Vehicle Architecture for Agricultural ApplicationsEl Houssein Chouaib Harik, Frédéric Guinand, Jakob Geipel
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Hardware and Architecture
- Signal Processing
- Control and Systems Engineering
The ageing population, climate change, and labour shortages in the agricultural sector are driving the need to reevaluate current farming practices. To address these challenges, the deployment of robot systems can help reduce environmental footprints and increase productivity. However, convincing farmers to adopt new technologies poses difficulties, considering economic viability and ease of use. In this paper, we introduce a management system based on the Robot Operating System (ROS) that integrates heterogeneous vehicles (conventional tractors and mobile robots). The goal of the proposed work is to ease the adoption of mobile robots in an agricultural context by providing to the farmer the initial tools needed to include them alongside the conventional machinery. We provide a comprehensive overview of the system’s architecture, the control laws implemented for fleet navigation within the field, the development of a user-friendly Graphical User Interface, and the charging infrastructure for the deployed vehicles. Additionally, field tests are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.