An autonomous field watching-dog robot for information collection in agricultural fields

Yoshisada Nagasaka, Qin Zhang, Tony E. Grift, Yutaka Kanetani, Naonobu Umeda, Takuo Kokuryu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


To effectively and timely collect production related information to support precision farming decision-making, an autonomous watching-dog robot was developed. This robot has four independently driven and steered wheels and flexible suspension linkage to have high travelability on all kinds of terrains and to turn at the end of crop rows. It was equipped with a camcorder and GPS to georeference and to records crop growth information as well as weeds in the field. A SICK laser scanner was used to guide the robot between the corn rows autonomously and all sensors and wheel controllers were interfaced using a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus. The robot was programmed to turn at the headlands and enter the adjacent row using a gyro sensor. This paper reports on the physical design and control system development of the robot, as well as its performance under field conditions. It can travel more than 30m between the corn crop rows without damaging plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2004
EventASAE Annual International Meeting 2004 - Ottawa, ON, Canada
Duration: Aug 1 2004Aug 4 2004


OtherASAE Annual International Meeting 2004
CityOttawa, ON


  • Autonomous guidance
  • Field information
  • Laser range finder
  • Precision agriculture
  • Robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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