News 26 March 2019

Semi-automatic weeding robot shows the future of agriculture

At the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, a team of graduate students designed and built a lightweight field robot that is likely to change horticultural machinery.

Electric power is not the most common motive force in traditional machinery for agricultural work. But this is about to change. Several scientific projects – mainly in Europe – are currently exploring the benefits of down-sizing machinery, extending the level of automation and, not least, of going electric!

A team of graduates from the Institute of Agricultural Engineering at Hohenheim University, Germany, set out to do it all. They came up with a small but quite powerful mobile weeding robot, Phoenix, that can cut weeds precisely, and carefully loosen the soil between rows of delicate plants.

LINAK® actuators power adjustment of hoe
Unlike most other development projects regarding robots for agriculture, the Phoenix unit is not fully autonomous. The weeding process itself is automatic. However, the robot still needs a human operator to find its way around the field. This is done remotely with a sensitive joystick, allowing the operator to stand or sit elsewhere.

Semi-automatic weeding robot shows the future of agriculture

LINAK GmbH recently interviewed David Reiser, one of the graduate engineers involved in the development of Phoenix.

Here Reiser explains how the Phoenix meets some of the challenges modern agriculture faces, some of the vehicle’s features and functions and, not least, why the team chose LINAK actuators with integrated controllers (IC) for the project.

 

If you want to know more about how LINAK can support agricultural automation, or more specifically about Phoenix, please contact your local LINAK office or read the full interview with David Reiser: "The eyecatcher – Phoenix robot with LINAK® technology".

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