Farming

AUTONOMOUS CONTROL PLATFORM

Smart farming has introduced a high level of automation and saved millions of tons of pesticides. The missing link for optimizing farming is heading in the direction of autonomous  operations in order to optimize resources, increase the level of efficiency and reduce costs. The aim is to transfer technologies from the automotive domain and adapt them to the agriculture sector as much as possible, adding additional features, such as the introduction of new type of sensors, platforms and/or communication  networks. The developed V&V tools and demonstrators will improve the testing workflow for autonomous farming systems.

The Use Case team is currently working towards the envisioned autonomous farming V&V concept by putting effort into the integration of the technologies:

(1) a hyperspectral flying platform consisting of a UAV equipped with an on board hyperspectral camera;

(2) software, algorithms, and communication infrastructure;

(3) a virtual farming environment, where the farming machines operate (a combination of an harvester, a tractor and drone) and are controlled by real control systems or embedded algorithms;

(4) environment simulation models to test radar sensors with the purpose of creating virtual environments for analysing the radar sensor behaviour;

(5) simulation software, where a 4x4 drive vehicle configuration is used to improve traction grip and thus be applicable to the characteristics of a tractor;

(6) a simulation platform for enabling the V&V of different hardware components which is connected to the real environment via the interfaces defined for the drone and/or the other vehicles;

(7) system simulation framework allows verification of the correctness of different control and planning algorithms and hardware components, e.g. being able to analyse the virtual tractor path, the percentage of harvested area and elapsed times to process the harvesting area, etc; these results are intended not only to verify the correct behaviour of the system under test and its software and hardware components, but also to optimise the algorithms being used and incorporate new ones into the system; this will allow the user to build more complex systems and to monitor their behaviour using functional simulation;

(8) an automatic testing framework for intra-vehicle network communication consisting of a combination of highly advanced network simulation tool and mechanisms to verify worst-case transmission delays and the generation of runtime monitors to verify the satisfaction of those delays during execution time, when that is achieved, the resulting verification framework will improve the testing workflow for autonomous farming systems and pave the way for upcoming work with respect to this domain.

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