RTK Applications: Precision Agriculture
Why is RTK Essential to Agriculture?
When using RTK systems in agriculture, these solutions allow you to perform field agricultural work with an accuracy of 1cm (check the ways of getting centimeter precision in our 5 minutes explanation). High precise positioning reduces the number of passes and optimized pass planning with efficient headland turns and faster line acquisition reducing overall work time as well as diesel consumption.
RTK improves repeatability, remembering routes, allowing farmers to more easily follow up in the field, minimizing soil compaction and avoiding row damage, even when performing high-precision operations such as inter-row weeding and cultivation.
By opting for an automatic steering system on your tractor, you increase efficiency by reducing farmer fatigue, meaning you can get more done in a shorter period of time and therefore can put your focus on the implement rather than steering. Contact ArduSimple to get your cost effective RTK solution! If you are hesitating, check our survey regarding what might stop you from using RTK.
What are the RTK use cases in Agriculture?
The GNSS RTK technology improves the accuracy of steering in straight lines, curves or concentric circles up to 1cm and enables automatic steering of tractors, combines and other agricultural machines. Use our Starter kit and one or another open-source auto-steering software (for example, AgOpenGPS,) to build an autonomous machine which doesn’t need operators and can operate around the clock.
– Is it difficult to go straight on a long field? Do you want to reduce overlaps and not miss pieces of the land when fertilizing or seeding?
– Do you want to reduce the cost of fuel that is spent on an unoptimized route?
– Do you want to speed up the harvest by working in any weather and under any lighting condition, even at night?
With manual steering, the overlap area between the passes is 6-9%. Would you like to reduce this value to 0.5% using RTK? Contact us!
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The vision-based algorithms and GNSS RTK technology enable robots to autonomously create three-dimensional maps of unknown areas of interest whether this is mapping a building or modeling a grapevine. The maps and models enable robots to intelligently and accurate perform a myriad of tasks whether it is vacuuming a floor or pruning a grapevine.
Fully autonomous robotic vine pruning mainly consists of navigation system (RTK receiver mounted on the vehicle, wheel encoders, and the robot’s onboard IMU (InertialMeasurement Unit) were the main localization sensors in the navigation system), 7-DoF Manipulation system, system of vine perception and End-eﬀector.
The efficient monitoring of crop traits such as biomass and nitrogen uptake is essential for an optimal application of nitrogen fertilizers.
With the help of LiDAR scanners mounted on unmanned aerial or ground vehicles, remote sensing provide characteristics of the vertical structure of crops (for example, winter wheat, cotton plant etc) and is used for monitoring crop traits and biomass in general. Accurate positioning of UAV data is provided by the RTK receiver and RTK antenna (check our Starter kits). The same technology can be used for differentiating crop types in an intensively cultivated area.
Farm machinery Guidance
Almost any agriculture machinery can be guided automatically with the help of GNSS RTK technology. With RTK, farmers reduce the costs and increase the yield. RTK allowed to make multiple passes in the same tracks, minimizing crop damage.
Do you need to sow, plant, water, weed, harvest and move from one plot to another without human’s help? Thanks to RTK it is easy to locate any farm machinery on a vast piece of land. The farmer does not need to physically go out and locate farm equipment especially in cases where the number is high. If you want to read and write data from any vehicle, check our simpleRTK2B-SBC.
Field and Contour Definition
In cases where the land is irregular, RTK has been instrumental in determining the contours within the specific locality.
Field mapping is used to locate and map specific field regions, such as areas that include highweed, disease, and pest infestations. Objects such as rocks and poorly drained regions can be recorded as landmarks for future reference.
Grafting is most common in European and Asian countries as well as in greenhouses worldwide where crop rotation is no longer an option and available land is under intense use. Robotic grafting is relatively new although mechanically-assisted grafting has been going on for a long time. Grafting robots solve the problems of tenderness, vulnerability and inconsistent growth of seedlings, and can be used in cucumbers, watermelons, etc.
Precision Irrigation, Fertilization, Pest control
For precision irrigation or fertilization, farmers use self-driving, multi-use platform that irrigate, fertilize the soil or test soil for pest control, following a precise route between rows of crops (corn, cabbage, etc.). It can also collect sensor data to inform both current and future work. GPS RTK and several sensors keep the robot from trampling the crop.
Autonomous drones and robots for use on farms and in forestry is increasing efficiency of spraying. Spraying with the help of RTK unmanned robots reduce chemical usage, lowering carbon emissions, less soil compaction and improve worker’s safety.
With GPS/RTK technology the soil sampling system can operate with centimeter accuracy, providing consistent, uniform and accurately spaced soil samples. Thanks to its RTK system, a magnetometer and a series of simple trigonometric functions, the device becomes fully automated once it receives the coordinates of the measured points.
To regulate fruit quality and flower bud set by thinning, you can use a robot which could result in significant cost and time savings. The robot uses a LIDAR sensing system and GPS RTK technology to self-navigate through peach orchards and steer clear of obstacles. The LIDAR system determines distances by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the amount of time it takes for the laser beam to reflect back, while the GPS RTK measures locations as specific as a centimeter.
For vegetation monitoring you can use a drone or a ground robot equipped with GPS RTK system in order to track the robot position and set of sensors that provide data for vegetative state analyze of the plant.
Robots is essentially creating a per plant view of the entire field, recognising every single plant in a field, giving each plant an exact location, and then using that to build what we call per plant intelligence.
A robotic platform for weeding of spaced-row cultures, which includes advanced weed recognition algorithms, fast robotic arms, advanced sensor technology, high energy efficiency, and wireless communications.
With the help of GPS RTK based robot up-to-date farmer can weed and thinn lettuce, cabbage, fennel and onions.
What might stop you from using ArduSimple RTK products?
We made a survey to understand what might deter you from using RTK. Explore the main reasons with our comments:
Money is super important to any farmer. Most autosteer solutions range from about € 5,000 to € 20,000, which is a huge range. ArduSimple products come at an affordable price, and at the same time keep the quality and usability of our products at a very high standard, and are available for the next day shipping. So that the system can be paid back in 1 season.
2. Not enough information
The fact that we have something great doesn’t always mean that we’re good at explaining that. If you can not find any information that you need, feel free to contact our support team, we always answer within 24 hours!
3. I don’t need high-precision tools
Who are we to tell you otherwise!
But… If you want to save up 15% of your costs on things like fuel, pesticides, and fertilizer due to its high occurrence, which reduces any overlap, consider about adopting GPS RTK technology for your business.
4. No time to install it
Contact us! We will help you to find a solution that takes 15 minutes to install and a total of 1 hour to completely set up and start testing, and doesn’t require a trained mechanic, you are able to do it all by yourself!