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Autonomous Agricultural Robot: Is the Machine Uprising Coming Sooner Than You Think?

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As part of the 2018 HPCC Systems Community Day event:

Hear how HPCC Systems is being used by a team of high school students to build an autonomous robot for the agricultural industry to help provide time sensitive data to a farm management system.

Taiowa Donovan graduated with a B.S. in Early and Secondary Science Education and studied abroad at the London Metropolitan University, focusing on exceptional education and teaching the inner city child. His teaching experience includes the George Junior Republic Union Free School District; the Advent School in Boca Raton, where he taught science and served as Science Department Chair; and LeadAmerica High School in Boca Raton where he was Program Director of the Engineering and Robotics program helping to design the curriculum and manage the teaching staff. Mr. Donovan is currently the Heritage Robotics Program Director at the Boca/Delray campus, as well as the FIRST Robotics Competition Team Coach and Founding Mentor.

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Autonomous Agricultural Robot: Is the Machine Uprising Coming Sooner Than You Think?

  1. 1. Innovation and Reinvention Driving Transformation OCTOBER 9, 2018 2018 HPCC Systems® Community Day Taiowa Donovan: Robotics Program Director American Heritage School Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  2. 2. Who am I ? • Director of Robotics –American Heritage School • Founder and Lead Mentor of Stallion Robotics Team 5472 • Teacher for the past 18 years. • Tinkerer • Robot builder Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  3. 3. Who am I ? Battlebots Builder- 2018 Season Battlebots-The Discovery Channel Team Kurtrox: Axe Backwards Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  4. 4. Battlebots- Team Axe Backwards Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  5. 5. Battlebots- Team Axe Backwards Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  6. 6. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  7. 7. Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program Autonomous Agricultural Robot Autonomous Agricultural Robot: Is the Machine Uprising Coming Sooner Than You Think? HPCC Systems is being used by a team of high school students to build an autonomous robot for the agricultural industry to help provide time sensitive data to a farm management system.
  8. 8. American Heritage School • We are a private, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory day school in South Florida with two 40-acre campuses–one in Plantation (a suburb of Fort Lauderdale in Broward County), and one in Boca Raton/Delray (in Palm Beach County), Florida. • Our schools serve approximately 4,200 students in PK3 through 12th grades, and our student body is top rated in diversity with students representing over 60 different countries throughout the world. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  9. 9. American Heritage School-Stallion Robotics Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  10. 10. Stallion Robotics
  11. 11. Stallion Robotics
  12. 12. Stallion Robotics Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  13. 13. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Preparing students for an ever-changing future. As a teacher, I often find myself faced with the ever- present question… “When are we ever going to use this in our life?” I remember asking this question many times as a student. More times than not, I was less than impressed with the answer. A project like this one will never be subjected to such a question! Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  14. 14. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Why? Why do we need to improve agricultural around the world? • The most common answer is that our population is growing. This gives us two unique challenges, feeding the growing population and providing housing. • The easiest places to build are areas that were traditionally used for agriculture. Now we are facing shrinking areas for farm land and increasing demands on the existing area. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  15. 15. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Why? The challenge of providing food to inhabitants of this planet needs to be addressed now. My thought was to propose this problem to my robotics students and see what we could come up with Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  16. 16. Autonomous Agricultural Project: The Challenge Gather information To start our project, we needed to clearly define this challenge. We started by researching and gathering information. As a teacher, having students was a great benefit . Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  17. 17. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Research for The Project • In preparation for our project, we spoke with Jeff Bradshaw, CTO at Adaptris / Proagrica, which uses the HPCC Systems platform in farm analytics. • This conversation allowed us to focus our efforts and define the scope of our project with information from leaders in field. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  18. 18. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Research for The Project • The students and I visited Duda Farms in Belle glade, Florida. • We were also accompanied by a Camilo Gaitan, Professional Engineer III Senior Water Resources Engineer in the Office of Agricultural Water Policy Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  19. 19. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Research for The Project
  20. 20. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Research for The Project Challenges facing farmers: What we learned • Monitoring soil condition • Pest infestation • Knowing when product is ready to harvest • Monitoring growth rates Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  21. 21. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Overview A group of students are working on an autonomous agricultural project with the goal of providing time sensitive data to the owner-operator/farmer/grower of a production farm. Create a robotic chassis that will be able to traverse the farmland and navigate autonomously to collect: • Data from the environment. (air temp, humidity, soil temp, and other environmental factor) • Soil samples. • Aerial Data Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  22. 22. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Involvement • The project is broken down into departments. • Mechanical (Drivetrain,CAD,3D Printing) • Electrical (All wiring and electrical schematics) • Programming (Big Picture) • Sensors and Controls (will work closely together with programmers)
  23. 23. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Involvement Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  24. 24. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Involvement Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  25. 25. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Involvement Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  26. 26. Autonomous Agricultural Project • Programming • We decided to use C++ as the main programming language of the project • The project also uses Robot Operating System (ROS) which supports C++ • JAVA for controlling the hardware Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  27. 27. Autonomous Agricultural Project • Sensors and Controls • Our lead student programmer has decided to use Google’s Cartographer for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) in the future • This will make use of the gyroscope, accelerometer, and the 2D rangefinder to create a map of the surroundings. • Ultrasonic sensors will be used to detect objects and prevent collisions Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  28. 28. Autonomous Agricultural Project • Cameras/VR (Virtual Reality) • Used to provide driver/operator real world view through VR headsets (HTC Vive) if the desire for hands on control is there we will look into that for future options. • The ability to read QR codes to give commands to the vehicle and provide a frame of reference for object detection is planned for the next phase • Both fixed view and 360 degree cameras have been attached to the robot Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  29. 29. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Contributions • Project Manager- Justin Schuster His job was to keep track of progress and ensure the successful completion of the project. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  30. 30. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Contributions • Lead Programmer- Aramis Tanelus- Aramis wrote the program that handles communication between the various sensors and hardware components of the robot. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  31. 31. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Contributions Design/CAD- Anthony Nicotra Anthony was responsible for designing and ‘CADding’ the parts we manufactured for the project. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  32. 32. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Contributions Electrical- Blake Schwartz He led the electrical side of the project and was in charge of collecting the electrical components and wiring the agricultural robot. Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  33. 33. Autonomous Agricultural Project: Student Contributions Machining/Production Kyle Tanner CNC machinist for the project. He fabricated the metal parts used on the robot He worked closely with the Design/CAD leader, Anthony Autonomous Agricultural Robot
  34. 34. Future Projects with HPCC and Robotics • Big Data Analysis • GPS, Lidar, and Infrared cameras generate big data that can now be easily ingested into HPCC Systems • This allows for running Machine Learning algorithms and doing other analysis on big robotic data using HPCC Systems • Opens up more intern projects for students in the future • This continues to build a strong connection between robotics and HPCC Systems which will showcase HPCC Systems as a viable and useful tool for robotics Autonomous Agricultural Robot

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