The RHEA-project robot for tree crops pesticide application
AbstractThe sustainable use of pesticide and the need of a renewed integrated system of agricultural knowledge and management, focus the designing of the EU FP7 RHEA Project. The objectives are the design, development, and testing of a new automatic generation of robotic systems to perform field operations for the sustainable crop management. The project affects three case study: chemical, physical, mechanical and thermal effective weed management in maize and wheat cultivations and chemical pesticide management in woody crops. To achieve the goals, a fleet of small and heterogeneous robots, ground and aerial, equipped with advanced sensors, innovative end actuators and decision control algorithms were realized. Present work is related to the third case study considered i.e. the spraying in woody crops specifically in olive trees. The final decision on woody perennial crops treatment device system, was oriented toward a complete double side air blast sprayer with eight separate spraying modules on four vertical bands of the canopy. Rhea air blast sprayer introduces some important innovations in the studies concerning the pesticide variable rate treatment, i.e. the management possibility of air flow in site specific way and in real time in function of the target.
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