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Sensors 2013, 13(1), 769-784; doi:10.3390/s130100769

Mechatronic Description of a Laser Autoguided Vehicle for Greenhouse Operations

2,* , 2
1 Departamento de Ingeniería, Ctra. Sacramento s/n, E-04120. Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain 2 Departamento de Informática, Ctra. Sacramento s/n, E-04120, Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 November 2012 / Revised: 27 December 2012 / Accepted: 28 December 2012 / Published: 8 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor-Based Technologies and Processes in Agriculture and Forestry)
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This paper presents a novel approach for guiding mobile robots inside greenhouses demonstrated by promising preliminary physical experiments. It represents a comprehensive attempt to use the successful principles of AGVs (auto-guided vehicles) inside greenhouses, but avoiding the necessity of modifying the crop layout, and avoiding having to bury metallic pipes in the greenhouse floor. The designed vehicle can operate different tools, e.g., a spray system for applying plant-protection product, a lifting platform to reach the top part of the plants to perform pruning and harvesting tasks, and a trailer to transport fruits, plants, and crop waste. Regarding autonomous navigation, it follows the idea of AGVs, but now laser emitters are used to mark the desired route. The vehicle development is analyzed from a mechatronic standpoint (mechanics, electronics, and autonomous control).
Keywords: agricultural robot; greenhouse; autonomous vehicle navigation; computer vision agricultural robot; greenhouse; autonomous vehicle navigation; computer vision
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Sánchez-Hermosilla, J.; González, R.; Rodríguez, F.; Donaire, J.G. Mechatronic Description of a Laser Autoguided Vehicle for Greenhouse Operations. Sensors 2013, 13, 769-784.

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