A docking station for a moderate off-road autonomous agricultural robot

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This work is about the realization of a docking station for an autonomous agricultural robot, capable to work in moderate off-road conditions. The goal of the work is to find a way to autonomously guide the robot from a generic position close to the docking station toward the station itself so to connect electrically to the station and recharge the batteries. The work has to include some specific points:

  • The robot needs to know when to come back to the docking station (when the battery level is too low, when the work is finished, etc);
  • The docking station has large and robust doors, to enclose the robot when re-charging, which are to be open when the robot has to leave or coming back. Such doors should resist aggression / intrusion from wild boars and other wildlife beings.
  • The docking station has a camera and capabilities to allow remote monitoring of the robot with videos from such camera.
  • The robot needs to communicate with the docking station so that videos from its on-boards cameras, as well as data from other robot sensors could be remoted to a human.
  • Although at low-speed, the robot should be remotely moved by a human, so to dock with the docking station, by exploiting the remotely available data from cameras and sensors on the docking station and the robot;
  • The docking station has to store energy and provide it to the robot in order to recharge it, the energy could be collected from solar panels or wind turbines.