AMU-Bot – Automated mechanical weed control in tree nurseries

© Baumschule Kohout

Mammutgarten

In Short

The autonomous, low-cost AMU-Bot platform mechanically removes weeds from row crops in tree nurseries. In the context of sustainable crop protection methods, the robot uses optical sensor technologies to detect crops and remove all weeds from the cultivated area without the need for chemical remedies.

In Detail

For trees and shrubs to grow optimally in rows, it is important to ensure that they do not have to compete with weeds for water, light and nutrients in the early stages of growth. Until now, this has been achieved either by manual hoeing or through the use of herbicides. Hoeing is time-consuming, and herbicides pollute the environment with their chemical residues and can threaten natural habitats, groundwater and surface water, thus diminishing the biological diversity of neighboring ecosystems.

The AMU-Bot platform, on the other hand, removes weeds mechanically and autonomously: It uses optical sensor technologies to detect crop plants and, with the resulting information, removes the surrounding weeds with the aid of rotating tools. It can be used in conjunction with all types of crops. Thanks to the platform's continuous tracks, the field robot can run easily in the undefined and dynamic environment of row crops. To obtain economically viable project results and ensure the suitability of the robot for future use in practice, sensory equipment is based on low-cost off-the-shelf sensors such as RGB cameras and LiDARS.

© Baumschule Kohout

Mammutgarten

Funding

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)

Project management (BLE)

Federal Office for Agriculture and Food

Duration

1 February 2017 to 31 March 2020