The Field Robot Event 2019 will be held at the BUGA in Heilbronn, Germany. For the event five tasks are to be completed. The first four will count for the overall contest winner 2019, the last task will be awarded separately. Below each task will be shortly explained. For additional information see: http://www.fieldrobot.com/event/index.php/tasks/.
Task 1 – Basic Navigation
For this task the robots are navigating autonomously. Within three minutes, the robot has to navigate through long curved rows of maize plants (picture 1). The aim is to cover as much distance as possible. On the headland, the robot has to turn and return in the adjacent row. There will be no plants missing in the rows. This task is all about accuracy, smoothness and speed of the navigation operation between the rows.
Task 2 – Advanced Navigation
For this task the robots are navigating autonomously. Under real field conditions, crop plant growth is not uniform. Furthermore, sometimes the crop rows are not even parallel. We will approach these field conditions in the second task. No large obstacles in the field, but more challenging terrain in comparison to task 1.
The robots shall achieve as much distance as possible within 3 minutes while navigating between straight rows of maize plants, but the robots have to follow a certain predefined path pattern across the field (picture 2). Additionally at some locations, plants will be missing (gaps) at either one or both sides with a maximum length of 1 meter. There will be no gaps at row entries.
The robot must drive the paths in given order. The code of the path pattern through the maize field is done as follows: S means START, L means LEFT hand turn, R means RIGHT hand turn and F means FINISH. The number before the L or R represents the row that has to be entered after the turn. Therefore, 2L means: Enter the second row after a lefthand turn, 3R means: Enter the third row after a right hand turn. The code for a path pattern for example may be given as: S ‐ 3L ‐ 2L ‐ 2R ‐ 1R ‐ 5L ‐ F.
Task 3 – Field mapping
For this task, the robots are navigating autonomously. The robots shall detect weed patches represented by pink golf balls and obstacles represented by yellow tennis balls. Task 3 is conducted on the area used in task 2 with straight rows. The map created in this task will be used in task 4. Up to ten obstacles may be placed in the field, either between rows or in the headland. Obstacles must not be passed regardless of whether the robot can do so without touching them. Up to ten weeds may be placed in the field. All weeds will be placed between rows.
The rules for entering the field, moving the robot, using remote controller etc. are the same as in task 1 and task 2.
A single robot navigates between the rows, as in tasks 1 and 2, giving an audible signal when it comes across each weed or obstacle to indicate that it has detected it at that location. The detection of a weed should be indicated by a two second signal and the detection of an obstacle should be indicated by a five second signal. A robot that is capable of surveying more than one row at a time must indicate the row in which it has detected the obstacle or weed.
Task 4 – Weeding
In this task the main robot should be equipped with a crop sprayer capable of spraying water.
The robot may use the map created in task 3 to produce an optimised path that allows it to spray all of the weeds in the shortest possible time. Teams will be allowed 10 minutes to configure their robot for spraying and load an optimised path into its navigation system. The path optimisation process can be completed using a computer that is independent of the main robot, but this process must be completed within the 10 minute time window.
Alternatively, the robot may go without a map or an optimised path. Without an optimised path, it is more difficult to complete the task within 3 minutes.
The robots shall precisely spray the weeds (or the circular area around the golf ball with a diameter of 25 cm) mapped in task 3. It is not permitted to touch or pass the yellow tennis balls.
Task 5 – Freestyle
Teams are invited to let their robots perform a freestyle operation. Creativity and fun are required for this task as well as an application‐oriented performance. One team member has to present the idea, the realization and perhaps to comment the robot’s performance to the jury and the audience. The freestyle task should be related to an agricultural application. Teams will have a time limit of five minutes for the presentation including the robot’s performance.
The task 5 is optional and will be awarded separately. We are currently brainstorming about what task we want to perform and how we are going to develop it.