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Swarm Robotics as a Solution to Crops Inspection for Precision Agriculture

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2018-02-01
Carbone, Carlos
Garibaldi, Oscar
Kurt, Zöhre
This paper summarizes the concept of swarm robotics and its applicability to crop inspections. To increase the agricultural yield it is essential to monitor the crop health. Hence, precision agriculture is becoming a common practice for farmers providing a system that can inspect the state of the plants (Khosla and others, 2010). One of the rising technologies used for agricultural inspections is the use of unmaned air vehicles (UAVs) which are used to take aerial pictures of the farms so that the images could be processed to extract data about the state of the crops (Das et al., 2015). For this process both fixed wings and quadrotors UAVs are used with a preference over the quadrotor since it’s easier to operate and has a milder learning curve compared to fixed wings (Kolodny, 2017). UAVs require battery replacement especially when the environmental conditions result in longer inspection times (“Agriculture - Maximize Yields with Aerial Imaging,” n.d., “Matrice 100 - DJI Wiki,” n.d.). As a result, inspection systems for crops using commercial quadrotors are limited by the quadrotor´s maximum flight speed, maximum flight height, quadrotor´s battery time, crops area, wind conditions, etc. (“Mission Estimates,” n.d.).