One of the biggest concerns in the field of agriculture is around the energy efficiency of robots that will perform agriculture’s activity and their charging methods. In this paper, two different charging methods for agricultural standalone docking stations are shown that will take into account various variants as field size and its irregularities, work’s nature to which the robot will perform, deadlines that have to be respected, among others. Its features also are dependent on the orchard, season, battery type and its technical specifications and cost. First charging base method focuses on wireless charging, presenting more benefits for small field. The second charging base method relies on battery replacement being more suitable for large fields, thus avoiding the robot stop for recharge. Existing many methods to charge a battery, the CC CV was considered the most appropriate for either simplicity or effectiveness. The choice of the battery for agricultural purposes is if most importance. While the most common battery used is Li-ion battery, this study also discusses the use of graphene-based new type of batteries with 45% over capacity to the Li-ion one. A Battery Management Systems (BMS) is applied for battery balancing. All these approaches combined showed to be a promising method to improve a lot of technical agricultural work, not just in terms of plantation and harvesting but also about every technique to prevent harmful events like plagues and weeds or even to reduce crop time and cost.
This paper reviews the different concepts that have been investigated concerning the mechanization of fruit thinning as well as multiple working principles and solutions that have been developed for feature extraction of horticultural products, both in the field and industrial environments. The research should be committed towards selective methods, which inevitably need to incorporate some kinds of sensor technology. Computer vision often comes out as an obvious solution for unstructured detection problems, although leaves despite the chosen point of view frequently occlude fruits. Further research on non-traditional sensors that are capable of object differentiation is needed. Ultrasonic and Near Infrared (NIR) technologies have been investigated for applications related to horticultural produce and show a potential to satisfy this need while simultaneously providing spatial information as time of flight sensors. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology also shows a huge potential but it implies much greater costs and the related equipment is usually much larger, making it less suitable for portable devices, which may serve a purpose on smaller unstructured orchards. Portable devices may serve a purpose on these types of orchards. In what concerns sensor methods, on-tree fruit detection, major challenge is to overcome the problem of fruits’ occlusion by leaves and branches. Hence, nontraditional sensors capable of providing some type of differentiation should be investigated.
The agricultural sector is becoming more critical than ever in view of the expected overpopulation of the Earth. The introduction of robotic solutions in this field is an increasingly researched topic to make the most of the Earth's resources, thus going to avoid the problems of wear and tear of the human body due to the harsh agricultural work, and open the possibility of a constant careful processing 24 hours a day. This project is realized for a terrestrial autonomous robot aimed to navigate in an orchard collecting fallen peaches below the trees. When it receives the signal indicating the low battery, it has to return to the docking station where it will replace its battery and then return to the last work point and resume its routine. Considering a preset path in orchards with tree rows with variable length by which the robot goes iteratively using the algorithm D*. In case of low battery, the D* algorithm is still used to determine the fastest return path to the docking station as well as to come back from the docking station to the last work point. MATLAB simulations were performed to analyze the flexibility and adaptability of the developed algorithm. The simulation results show an enormous potential for adaptability, particularly in view of the irregularity of orchard field, since it is not flat and undergoes modifications over time from fallen branch as well as from other obstacles and constraints. The D* algorithm determines the best route in spite of the irregularity of the terrain. Moreover, in this work, it will be shown a possible solution to improve the initial points tracking and reduce time between movements.