Uses for multi-purpose crop robot to be investigated at Lincoln

Researchers at the University of Lincoln have begun trials of an agricultural robotic platform which has a range of potential applications in protected and outdoor growing.

Image: NMBU
Image: NMBU

The Thorvald robot was developed by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and manufactured by Saga Robotics in Norway, where trials have already demostrated its ability to shine ultraviolet light onto strawberries to reduce mildew as it travels along rows.

NMBU PhD student Lars Grimstad said: "It's simply a platform on wheels, a tool carrier, that you can remotely move to work in a given area."

The robot was delivered to the university's Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems last week.

Earlier this year Norway's agriculture minister Jon Georg Dale gave a thumbs-up to the robot platform and even tried his hand at controlling it during a visit to NMBU.

Thorvald is a prototype low-cost and lightweight device with potential applications ranging from autonomous precision seeding to weeding and harvesting, NMBU associate resarcher Pål Johan From explained.

"It is battery driven and has four powerful electric motors which makes it capable of performing work in the field. Four-wheel steering makes it extremely mobile. The frame is flexible, which guarantees that all four wheels are in contact with the ground at all times for optimal traction. The robot can operate up to 10 hours without charging or changing its batteries."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can a labour crisis be averted in the UK berry industry?

Can a labour crisis be averted in the UK berry industry?

Failure to secure sufficient supply of seasonal labour would not only cripple Britain's thriving soft-fruit industry but would hit affordability and availability of a healthy everyday food, according to a report by agricultural consultancy Andersons Midlands for industry body British Summer Fruits (BSF).

How will a reduced European apple harvest impact on UK growers?

How will a reduced European apple harvest impact on UK growers?

British top fruit growers concerned about the impact of this season's late frost can take some comfort from the situation on the Continent, where according to analysts, damage to tree fruit is at least as bad.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - White mould

Pest & Disease Factsheet - White mould