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A high-level task planning of autonomous robots carrying multiple herbicides and treating specific weed types

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100426.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100426)
Authors:   Georgios Adosoglou, Seonho Park, Yiannis Ampatzidis, Panos M. Pardalosa
Keywords:   Capacitated arc routing problem, Combinatorial optimization problem, Fleets, Precision agriculture, Route planning in agriculture

Abstract. Advancements in precision agriculture, robotics, and task planning have allowed a drastic reduction in costs related to agricultural tasks. In weed treatment, specifically, considering multiple vehicles that transfer multiple types of herbicides to treat specific weed types can greatly reduce costs as well as the negative impact on the environment. In this paper, we present a generalized planning that considers multiple vehicles carrying multiple types of herbicides to treat various types of weeds in a field by also taking into account the need to replenish, as well as the time cost associated with it and the variability of the field. We formulate this problem as an extension of the capacitated arc routing problem (CARP), where we consider multiple trips to and from the refilling unit, the time required for replenishment, as well as the multiple commodities being transferred. We offer two mathematical models, one in which optimizes only for the total distance traveled among all vehicles, while the second model also optimizes the maximum time spent for completing the task. We demonstrate solutions to vehicle routing problems for a weed treatment operation using three types of agrochemicals and a fleet of autonomous precision sprayers.

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