The development of an effective agricultural robot presents various challenges in actuation, localization, navigation, sensing, etc., depending on the prescribed task. Moreover, when multiple robots are engaged in an agricultural task, this requires appropriate coordination strategies to be developed to ensure safe, effective, and efficient operation. This paper presents a simulation study that demonstrates a robust coordination strategy for the navigation of two heterogeneous robots, where one robot is the expert and the second robot is the helper in a vineyard. The robots are equipped with localization and navigation capabilities so that they can navigate the environment and appropriately position themselves in the work area. A modular collaborative algorithm is proposed for the coordinated navigation of the two robots in the field via a communications module. Furthermore, the robots are also able to position themselves accurately relative to each other using a vision module in order to effectively perform their cooperative tasks. For the experiments, a realistic simulation environment is considered, and the various control mechanisms are described. Experiments were carried out to investigate the robustness of the various algorithms and provide preliminary results before real-life implementation.
C. Lytridis, C. Bazinas, T. Pachidis, V. Chatzis, V. G. Kaburlasos, “Coordinated navigation of two agricultural robots in a vineyard: A simulation study”, Sensors, vol. 22, no. 23, 9095, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22239095 (Special Issue on Computational Intelligence and Cyberphysical Systems in Sensing. https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sensors/special_issues/S5WO1ME30T Guest Editor: Manuel Graña)