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Farming robots get to grips with weeding at Harper Adams

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3 July 2017

 

Robot gets a helping hand at Harper AdamsImage copyrightBBC SPORT

Researchers at Harper Adams University in Shropshire are trying to sow, look after and then harvest a field of barley using only robots and autonomous vehicles. No humans are allowed into the pilot-plot at all.

We covered the project when it started and again here. They call it "Hands Free Hectare" and in the office we call it "Robocrop". Long story short the team are actually doing pretty well with a field of barley shoots that looks healthy if a bit patchy here and there.

In fact, they're doing so well with their combination of off-the-shelf tech and nifty engineering skills that I began to wonder if building farming robots wasn't actually pretty easy?

Then I spent an afternoon at the global agricultural-robot challenge also hosted by Harper Adams. I watched the best student engineering teams from all over the world put robots to work on simple agricultural tasks. And I saw that making an agricultural robot that performs is actually really, really, really difficult.

Read more: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-40374658

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