Resource and Response Aware Path Planning for Long-term Autonomy of Ground Robots in Agriculture

by   Stuart Eiffert, et al.

Achieving long-term autonomy for mobile robots operating in real-world unstructured environments such as farms remains a significant challenge. This is made increasingly complex in the presence of moving humans or livestock. These environments require a robot to be adaptive in its immediate plans, accounting for the state of nearby individuals and the response that they might have to the robot's actions. Additionally, in order to achieve longer-term goals, consideration of the limited on-board resources available to the robot is required, especially for extended missions such as weeding an agricultural field. To achieve efficient long-term autonomy, it is thus crucial to understand the impact that online dynamic updates to an energy efficient offline plan might have on resource usage whilst navigating through crowds or herds. To address these challenges, a hierarchical planning framework is proposed, integrating an online local dynamic path planner with an offline longer-term objective-based planner. This framework acts to achieve long-term autonomy through awareness of both dynamic responses of individuals to a robot's motion and the limited resources available. This paper details the hierarchical approach and its integration on a robotic platform, including a comprehensive description of the planning framework and associated perception modules. The approach is evaluated in real-world trials on farms, requiring both consideration of limited battery capacity and the presence of nearby moving individuals. These trials additionally demonstrate the ability of the framework to adapt resource use through variation of the local dynamic planner, allowing adaptive behaviour in changing environments. A summary video is available at


page 7

page 16

page 17

page 18

page 19

page 22

page 23

page 28


A Hierarchical Framework for Long-term and Robust Deployment of Field Ground Robots in Large-Scale Farming

Achieving long term autonomy of robots operating in dynamic environments...

Experimental Evaluation of a Hierarchical Operating Framework for Ground Robots in Agriculture

For mobile robots to be effectively applied to real world unstructured e...

Duckiefloat: a Collision-Tolerant Resource-Constrained Blimp for Long-Term Autonomy in Subterranean Environments

There are several challenges for search and rescue robots: mobility, per...

Loco-Manipulation Planning for Legged Robots: Offline and Online Strategies

The deployment of robots within realistic environments requires the capa...

Along Similar Lines: Local Obstacle Avoidance for Long-term Autonomous Path Following

Visual Teach and Repeat 3 (VT R3), a generalization of stereo VT R, ...

CircuitBot: Learning to Survive with Robotic Circuit Drawing

Robots with the ability to actively acquire power from surroundings will...

Energy Sufficiency in Unknown Environments via Control Barrier Functions

Maintaining energy sufficiency of a battery-powered robot system is a ...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset