Monday, June 19, 2006

Flying Robot Crop Duster

From The Nation, Thailand:

The mechatronics laboratory at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has developed an autonomous flying robot to help farmers fertilise fields and conduct aerial surveillance.
"The robot has minimised human risk factors as it is controlled by a computer on the ground," said Sukon Puntunan, a doctoral student at AIT, who helped develop the flying robot.

An operator feeds flight-plan information into a computer at the ground station, which is then transmitted to the machine on board through a wireless modem. This information guides the robot to predetermined destinations and helps it to perform tasks like spraying or capturing images.

The on-board computer system continuously communicates with the ground station's system to receive and update new commands every 200 milliseconds within a three-kilometre range. The geographical positioning system (GPS) allows the robot to pinpoint its current position and chart its next moves.

Flying robot helps farmers avoid dangerous chemicals


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