2016 Development of a robotic-solution for slug control in agriculture
Slugs can cause substantial damages in agricultural plant production. Existing methods to fight those slugs do not deliver satisfying results. Therefore the MSR-bot-Project aims to develop a robot that detects slugs and fights them using a manipulator. The planed robot navigates autonomously across agricultural land. It detects slugs using digital image processing. The robot is provided with a control that enables the device to anticipate the development of the slug population. To realise an anticipative control of the robot it is necessary to know the quantitative behaviour of slug populations under relevant boundary conditions such as weather and soil conditions, or the chosen pest control strategy. The development of a robot to control plagues of slugs enables the operator to use a safer, more environment friendly and less expensive technique for the abatement of harmful slugs.
The project shall last 36 month to be finished. In the first year of the project a vehicle platform and a sensor for slug detection based on a camera system and digital image processing will be developed. In the second year of the project the slug detection sensor will be used in a field test, to estimate the quantitative behaviour of slugs in relation to different influencing factors, as weather, soil conditions or the pest control strategy. Also a navigation unite will be added to the robot and a robot control will be developed. The robot control shall contain a hotspot focusing method to improve the impact power of the robot. Later the gained knowledge of the quantitative slug behaviour will be used to improve the robot control. The robot will be equipped with manipulators to fight the slugs it found. In the third year of the project the developed modules will be assembled to a working robot and the functionality of the system will be proved. It will also be checked if it is possible to use the robot for the abatement of other pests like mice for instance.
Video : Roboter zur Regulierung von Schnecken im Ackerbau (Uni Kassel, KommTek und Julius Kühn Institut)
responsible : Christian Höing