Science

The unsupervised robot Ted in the vineyards in the spring of 2022

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00% Autonomous, without supervision. This is the promise of Naïo Technologies for the use of its large robots from this spring of 2022. The Toulouse manufacturer announces in the middle of the International Forum of Agricultural Robotics (Fira) that it is ready to commercialize a new system that allows Big Ted robots work alone in the vineyard plots without any human supervision. Then it would be the first! However, European regulations are very strict on the safety of men and machines. How will Naïo triumph in this tour de force? Thanks in particular to the new calculations and sensors.

“We had to start from scratch, redo our risk analyzes and invent specific devices to manage the two big risks in particular: colliding with a person, and leaving the authorized work area, leaving the field and going down a road, for example, explains Cédric Seguineau, director of quality, safety and environment at Naïo Technologies. The first is based on obstacle detection and identification systems to distinguish a human from a vine, even in The second is managed with so-called geofencing modules that verify that the robot remains at all times in an area delimited by the user ” .

Positioning data and mechanical probes

“One of the main risks is leaving the work zone, which will be eliminated next spring thanks to the geofencing system”, describes Franck Jung, director of systems engineering at Naïo. It is a dedicated safe system, which checks, thanks to redundant data positioning, that the robot is permanently in the authorized work area.

As for Ted’s portico dedicated to the wine sector, there was still the risk of stepping over a human being present in the middle of the row of vineyards. We are currently completing the integration of an innovative safety system, based on mechanical probes. This very simple and robust device, for which we have applied for a patent, has shown completely satisfactory results during tests on the vines. It will allow us to deliver the first Ted 100% autonomous and without the need for human supervision, starting in the spring of 2022! “

The data is edited to improve the quality of the robot’s work.

In addition to these safety advances that allow the robot to exit without supervision, Naïo continues its R&D work based on artificial intelligence to qualitatively improve the robot’s work. For this, all the data produced at work is transmitted to the cloud in 4G. “These data collected, in accordance with the RGPD law, allow us to develop artificial intelligence noting the quality of the work performed, details Clément Fraisier-Vannier, director of software engineering and user experience specialist. It will allow the robot to constantly adapt and improve its work. In this way it becomes more and more autonomous and intelligent, allowing the farmer to check the quality and / or progress of the work carried out, in order to develop trust between him and his machine and provide him with the serenity of a job well done ” .

After 10 years of existence, Naïo wants to strengthen and further strengthen the bond between man and machine.

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