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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

€ 1,9 Million for Farming Robots

Denmark is leading in farming robotics and has started a new project called ASETA. The main scientific long term objective of ASETA is fully automated surveying and targeted treatment of crops to substantially reduce the environmental impact of farming chemicals and fuel.

ASETA brings together roboticists, agricultural engineers, and biologists to develop a team of cooperating autonomous vehicles for surveying and targeted treatment of crops. Surveillance is based on small unmanned helicopters equipped with a range of sensors, including multispectral and thermal cameras. Data collected are transmitted to a ground station, which analyses the data and triggers aerial and ground-based vehicles to start close inspection and plant treatment in specified areas.

ASETA is a cooperation between Aalborg University (AAU), Life at Copenhagen University, Nordic Beet Research, and Green Support Services at Copenhagen University. In the project the focus is on sugar beets and perennial weeds. AAU is responsible for coordination and for the airborne vehicles, Life is responsible for image processing and ground vehicles, Nordic Beet Research for contact to manufacturers and consumers and for proper demonstration and testing conditions, while Green Supports Services provides properly maintained and cultivated test fields.

The project is funded by The Danish Council for Strategic Research as grant 09-067027 with a total of 14.3 mill DKK (€1,9M). It started in January 2010 and will end in December 2013. There are 6 faculty staff, 1 techical staff, 1 post doc, and 3 PhD students directly involved in the project. Also, 5 foreign guest researchers will participate.

There will be a public, live demonstration of the project concept in the summer or fall 2013 at Green Support Services in Taastrup, Denmark.

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