Robotic technology for alternative soil management

Vegetation control in woody permanent crops, such vineyards and olive groves, nowadays is mostly realized using chemicals products or mechanical implements. However, with a better understanding of the negative impacts of the use of these techniques on soil, water and biodiversity, farmers started to look into new alternatives/approaches to manage the intra and row vegetation control. Pushed by these farm desires, in the NOVATERRA project, we started analysing robotics based technologies that can support vegetation management activities.

With this analises, we designed a modular robot called Modular-E, that can carry fertilizers implements and several weeding tools (mechanical, UltraViolet lights and electrocution based tools). Being a small and fully autonomous solution, Modular-E will enable new sustainable approaches on vegetation control, restoring the soil diversity and promoting water saving and quality.