Robotics technology and agrochemical support of plant cultivation

    V.G. Sychev (1), Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, DSc in Engineering
    R.A. Afanas’ev (1), DSc in Engineering
    Z.A. Godzhaev (2), DSc in Engineering
    A.P. Grishin (2), DSc in Engineering
    A.A. Grishin (2), PhD in Economics

    (1) D.N. Pryanishnikov All-Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Chemistry, Moscow, Russia, info@vniia-pr.ru
    (2) All-Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Mechanization, Moscow, Russia, vim-transport@mail.ru

Abstract
The article provides an overview of methods for monitoring of crop condition and variability (diversity) of soil fertility in the field. Two ways of their implementation having fundamental importance to robotic technologies are marked, namely the remote and at-ground ones. Remote methods for identification of diversity of soil fertility and crop condition are infrared spectrometry of crops by means of helicopters, quadcopters, drones and other low-altitude vehicles capable to shoot the condition of targets by means of attached camera, and also the radar-photometric remote sensing which allows to mark the field areas with different agrochemicals properties in real-time mode. Among the at-ground methods of agrochemical investigation of soils and crops special attention is payed to the mesh method of soil sampling with the use of automated samplers equipped with navigational devices, the usage of relation of soil fertility with its topography and the scanning of electrical conductivity of soil. The article presents a variant of identification of field contours of soil fertility during the automatic determination of productivity of crops (principally grain-crops) in harvesting process. A block diagram of implementation of this method is given. The obtained data is used for the construction of field productivity map, which allows to divide the areas (contours) on levels of productivity. A tracked chassis with hybrid power plant, motion control equipment and machine vision device is described. The chassis serves as the practical basis for development of robotic technologies in plant cultivation, including the fertilizer distributor that will become the base robotic unit in case of full robotization of agrochemical support of plant cultivation based on unmanned mobile power units.

Keywords:
robotics technology; agrochemistry; soil fertility; monitoring; fertilizer application; unmanned mobile power unit.

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