Byelab: An agricultural mobile robot prototype for proximal sensing and precision farming
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At today, available mechatronics technology allows exploiting smart and precise sensors as well as embedded and effective mechatronic systems for developing (semi-)autonomous robotic platforms able to both navigate in different outdoor environments and implementing Precision Farming techniques. In this work, the experimental outdoor assessment of the performance of a mobile robotic lab, the ByeLab - Bionic eYe Laboratory - is presented and discussed. The ByeLab, developed at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the Free University of Bolzano (I), has been conceived with the aim of creating a (semi-)autonomous robotic system able to sense and monitor the health status of orchards and vineyards. For assessing and measuring the shape and the volume of the canopy, LIDAR technology coupled with ad-hoc developed algorithms have been exploited. To validate the ByeLab different experimental tests have been carried out. In addition to the in-lab and structured environments experimental tests that allowed to tune the algorithms, in this work the assessment of its capabilities - in particular the sensoric system - has been made outdoor controlled environment tests.