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Ultrasonic Sensor Development for Automatic Steering Control of Orchard Tractor

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 221-229 in Automation Technology for Off-Road Equipment, Proceedings of the July 26-27, 2002 Conference (Chicago, Illinois, USA)  701P0502.(doi:10.13031/2013.10010)
Authors:   M. Iida, T. F. Burks
Keywords:   Automatic steering, GPS, orchards, ultrasonic sensor

This paper describes the measurement of the relative position between tree canopy and vehicle using ultrasonic sensors for the navigation of a tractor working in the orchard. The tractor working in the orchard travels on the permanent paths between trees. Therefore, the navigation of the tractor using a DGPS seems to be effective. However, since the trees grow up and change the dimension of tree canopies, the tractor needs to detect the tree canopies and travel along them or avoid them. The goal of this research is to navigate the orchard tractor using a DGPS and ultrasonic sensors. For the purpose, the ultrasonic instrument for the measurement of the tree canopy was developed in this research. The performance of the developed ultrasonic instrument was estimated by field tests. Furthermore, a DGPS was used for the measurement of the vehicle position. The performance of the DGPS was also presented.

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