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Machine Vision for Autonomous Machine Guidance

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

Citation:  Paper number  053091,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19089) @2005
Authors:   N. B. Powell, S. R. Spencer, M. D. Boyette
Keywords:   Machine automation, tractors, machine vision, zero turning radius, robotics, automated guidance, CCD camera

This paper presents a machine vision guidance system for an autonomous agricultural machine. A zero turning radius lawnmower which had been previously outfitted for autonomous operation was used as the test platform for integrating a machine vision system as a relative position reference navigation system.

Using a DVT 542C integrated machine vision system an algorithm was developed to distinguish a bright line from a dark background, a simulation of near-infrared images of crop rows, and to develop navigation measurements from this. Software was written to use those measurements to steer the machine. Numerous tests were run to demonstrate the efficacy and robustness of the system, including comparison to a skilled human operator. Problems and potential options for integrating this into trajectory control are discussed.

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