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Automatic Guidance System With Crop Row Sensor

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

Citation:  Pp. 307-316 in Automation Technology for Off-Road Equipment, Proceedings of the July 26-27, 2002 Conference (Chicago, Illinois, USA)  701P0502.(doi:10.13031/2013.10020)
Authors:   H. Okamoto, K. Hamada, T. Kataoka, M. Terawaki and S. Hata
Keywords:   Automatic control, Automatic guidance, Automatic steering, Machine Vision, Image processing, Weed control, Weeders

The objective of this study was to develop an automatic guidance system with a crop row sensor. The crop row sensor consisted of the CCD camera and the image-processing algorithm. This sensor would be applied to the automatic guidance system for the weeding cultivator. In this report, the performance of the developed sensor and the control system of the crop row following was discussed.

The method for sensing the crop row location was followed. The color CCD camera took the crop row images. The computer detected the crop row location based on the image-processing technique. Results of the field test showed that the crop row sensor had both well performances of the accuracy and the response.

The developed sensor was applied to the weeding machine. According to the offset between the weeding machine and the target crop row, the weeding machine was controlled to adjust to the crop row by the hydraulic cylinder. The field test results showed that this system was well controlled along the target crop row, and the weeding was successful without any damages to crops. The crop-row sensor was also applied to the automatic steering control system of a tractor. The system steered the tractor in proportion to the offset between the centerline of the tractor and the target crop row. The Field test showed that this system worked completely successful.

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