Less than 2 years after the commissioning of the first Phenomobile V2 in Toulouse, the French Institute for Research in Agronomy (INRA) has just received two more machines for the sites of Montpellier and Clermont-Ferrand.
Specifically designed to collect phenotyping data on experimental crops, these systems were jointly developed by Meca-3d and Robopec, a division of iXblue. Thanks to a lean cooperative process, unmatched precision and repeatability performances have been reached for such a class of machine.
Acceptance tests and training have been completed on both sites. The teams noticed how quick taking control was, in manual mode as well as in autonomous mode. The graphical user interface used for autonomous mission preparation and execution offers simplicity and comprehensive capabilities. Motion of the platform and the acquisition pod is fully automatically controlled with few centimeters tolerance, thanks to multiple RTK GPS. The operator is completely relieved of steering. He can focus on security and on data validation during the campaign, and then scan more than 100 microplots per hour.
The acquisition pod includes 2 HD cameras, 2 multispectral camera, 3 LIDARs and 5 Flash. It can draw perfect acquisition lines, in any direction and over plants up to 4.5 meters high, by combining 2 rotations (pod and cabin) and 2 translations (elongation and height). The bent of the telescopic arm (up to 12m) is also real time compensated.
Thanks to a catalogue of various and mature solutions, Robopec records a significant speeding up of sales in the phenotyping domain, result of a successful product strategy. Other domains have however a great dynamic too, with expected commercial success in the fields of advanced perception (multi-sensor fusion, detection and tracking at sea), and of naval and ground autonomous navigation (SLAM, dynamic path planning, obstacle avoidance, COLREGs)