Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

USDA-NIFA Grant to Advance Ag Robot Research

Wed, 14 Apr 2021 09:35:12 CDT

USDA-NIFA Grant to Advance Ag Robot Research Cara Pesek writes for IANR Media on a new grant to advance Ag Robot research.

Santosh Pitla, associate professor of biological systems engineering at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, can picture a future in which swarms of small autonomous robots roll through a corn or soybean field planting seeds or applying fertilizers. These highly sensitive robots could detect conditions — soil makeup and moisture, for example — across a given field and apply varying amounts of inputs across the field, tailored to the conditions.

A new $452,783 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will fund research that could bring these robots a step closer to reality.

Pitla has been working to advance these robots, known as Unmanned Ground Vehicles, or UGVs, since he joined the Husker faculty in 2014. One challenge he has encountered in his research is how to refill seeds, chemicals and fertilizers automatically, without the need for the UGV to leave the field. Currently, UGVs and manned machines come to the edge of the field when their tanks are low for refilling.

Pitla and his team are working on a new approach for refilling UGV seed tanks using aerial robots known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Refilling seed tanks on site, using aerial robots, has the potential to improve both the efficiency and precision of UGVs, Pitla said.

“The full potential of a multi-robot system consisting of multiple small UGVs can only be realized if a practical refilling strategy for refilling seeds and other inputs can be devised,” he said.

He and his team are working to develop a framework for this system, as well as to address knowledge gaps in how UGVs and drones can work together.

Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory Engineer Rodney Rohrer and Husker faculty members Joe Luck and Yeyin Shi are also involved with the project. Work will start in July. Once the refueling system is developed, it will be tested at the Rogers Memorial Farm near Lincoln, which is operated by the Department of Biological Systems Engineering. The project’s funding comes specifically from USDA-NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the nation’s leading competitive grants program for agricultural sciences.



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Thursday, May 13, 2021 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Thu, 13 May 2021 13:56:23 CDT
  • USDA-NIFA, CDC and Cooperative Extension Team Up for Vaccine Education in Rural America  Thu, 13 May 2021 10:35:15 CDT
  • Dallas, San Antonio and Oklahoma City to face 'nasty' Severe Weather  Thu, 13 May 2021 09:28:28 CDT
  • Oklahoma Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur Says There is a Positive Dynamic in The Oklahoma Ag Industry Today  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:59:57 CDT
  • Don't Bug Me: Pest Control  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:57:25 CDT
  • New Southern Plains Perspective Blog On Offsetting the Carbon Footprint of Eating Beef   Thu, 13 May 2021 08:45:52 CDT
  • ALSS Secures $7M Series B Funding To Commercialize Novel Vaccine Delivery System For Poultry Industry  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:29:58 CDT
  • Gov. Stitt Enjoys Grilling Hamburgers Beneath Peta Billboard Calling Him a Meathead  Thu, 13 May 2021 08:49:37 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Oklahoma City Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2021 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.