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Aerial Data Collection and Analysis, and Automated Ground Intervention for Precision Farming

Aerial Data Collection and Analysis, and Automated Ground Intervention for Precision Farming

Objective

To feed a growing world population with the given amount of available farmland, we must develop new methods of sustainable farming that increase yield while reducing reliance on herbicides and pesticides. Precision agricultural techniques seek to address this challenge by monitoring key indicators of crop health and targeting treatment only to plants that need it. This is a time consuming and expensive activity and while there has been great progress on autonomous farm robots, most systems have been developed to solve only specialized tasks. This lack of flexibility poses a high risk of no return on investment for farmers. The goal of the Flourish project is to bridge the gap between the current and desired capabilities of agricultural robots by developing an adaptable robotic solution for precision farming. By combining the aerial survey capabilities of a small autonomous multi-copter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with a multi-purpose agricultural Unmanned Ground Vehicle, the system will be able to survey a field from the air, perform targeted intervention on the ground, and provide detailed information for decision support, all with minimal user intervention. The system can be adapted to a wide range of crops by choosing different sensors and ground treatment packages. This development requires improvements in technological abilities for safe accurate navigation within farms, coordinated multi-robot mission planning that enables large field survey even with short UAV flight times, multispectral three-dimensional mapping with high temporal and spatial resolution, ground intervention tools and techniques, data analysis tools for crop monitoring and weed detection and user interface design to support agricultural decision making. As these aspects are addressed in Flourish, the project will unlock new prospects for commercial agricultural robotics in the near future.
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Coordinator

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH

Address

Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich

Switzerland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

Participants (6)

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RHEINISCHE FRIEDRICH-WILHELMS-UNIVERSITAT BONN

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 750 000

ALBERT-LUDWIGS-UNIVERSITAET FREIBURG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 915 500

ROBERT BOSCH GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 964 720

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 457 650

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA LA SAPIENZA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 366 750

AGENZIA SERVIZI SETTORE AGROALIMENTARE MARCHE (ASSAM)

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 106 250

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 644227

  • Start date

    1 March 2015

  • End date

    31 August 2018

Funded under:

H2020-EU.2.1.1.5.

  • Overall budget:

    € 4 780 047,50

  • EU contribution

    € 3 560 870

Coordinated by:

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH

Switzerland

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