UNSW Autonomous Seeder for Broad Acre Crops



Abstract / Description

This video shows the operation of a prototype of a fully Autonomous Seeder for broad acre crops developed at the School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering of the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. The system was developed by a team lead by A/Prof. Jay Katupitiya. The system consists of a fully autonomous John Deere tractor attached to a novel robotic seeding system well equipped with advanced controls. The entire system is driven by a sophisticated suite of control systems ensuring +/- 2cm (1 inch) path tracking accuracy (see clips in the video). In particular, the wheels of the Seeder are propelled through torque control. These wheels are steerable and are driven based on the hitch point tension thereby reliving the tractor from pulling the implement, which allows the tractor to be a small intelligent pilot vehicle thereby eliminating ground compaction and hence controlled traffic. In addition, there is a fully automated seeding point control system that ensures seed placement at a higher precision. The system uses ConservaPak seeding ploughs. Note that this "proof of concept system" does not have seed and fertilizer metering units integrated.

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