CropNav: a Framework for Autonomous Navigation in Real Farms

Mateus V. Gasparino, Vitor A.H. Higuti, Arun N. Sivakumar, Andres E.B. Velasquez, Marcelo Becker, Girish Chowdhary

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Small robots that can operate under the plant canopy can enable new possibilities in agriculture. However, unlike larger autonomous tractors, autonomous navigation for such under canopy robots remains an open challenge because Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is unreliable under the plant canopy. We present a hybrid navigation system that autonomously switches between different sets of sensing modalities to enable full field navigation, both inside and outside of crop. By choosing the appropriate path reference source, the robot can accommodate for loss of GNSS signal quality and leverage row-crop structure to autonomously navigate. However, such switching can be tricky and difficult to execute over scale. Our system provides a solution by automatically switching between an exteroceptive sensing based system, such as Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) row-following navigation and waypoints path tracking. In addition, we show how our system can detect when the navigate fails and recover automatically extending the autonomous time and mitigating the necessity of human intervention. Our system shows an improvement of about 750 m per intervention over GNSS-based navigation and 500 m over row following navigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - ICRA 2023
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9798350323658
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2023 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: May 29 2023Jun 2 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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