ROS-Based Path Planning and Machine Control for an Autonomous Sugar Beet Harvester
In Proceedings of International Conference on Machine Control & Guidance, (MCG-2014), 19.3.-20.3.2014, Braunschweig, o.A., Mar/2014.
This paper gives an overview of preliminary results from the project SmartBot. It is a cross-border collaboration involving 24 different partners from Germany and the Netherlands. The project aims at transferring robotic algorithms and methods into industrial and agricultural applications. In this paper we present the automation of a sugar beet harvester using the Robot Operating System (ROS) framework. As an essential component of the automation a high-level planning system is developed. It tackles the optimisation problems of strategy and path planning for one harvester with the objective of soil protection. Results of the high-level planning system are trajectories for the sugar beet harvester, which covers the field and the transport of the harvested crops to the storage clamp. The optimized paths take the driven paths into account. This approach provides an initial impulse to avoid soil compaction by avoid multiple passing of the same field area. As a first step to an autonomous working machine a path tracker is integrated and tested on a sugar beet harvester. Besides the technical description, pros and cons for using ROS in agricultural robotics are discussed.