Technology

Yes, LiDAR lawn care solves big problems

How can we prevent weeds from invading multi-million dollar solar installations? Thanks to a confluence of sensor developments and automation technologies. Yes, the answer is once again: with robots.

This is a big problem, the kind of logistical constraint that lurks in corporate business plans and that we don’t pay much attention to. Renewable energy companies such as solar and wind farms cover large areas and are often in isolated locations where weeds grow naturally. If left unchecked, this vegetation can cause big problems. But hiring people to take care of weeds is expensive and potentially dangerous on a sensitive site.

A company called Renu Robotics has developed a robotic lawnmower dedicated to managing this type of terrain. The company just announced a multi-year agreement with LiDAR developer Velodyne Lidar, Inc., which makes a small sensor, called Puck, that can be used for autonomous navigation systems.

Confluence between the development of sensors, autonomous systems and renewable energies

“Velodyne Puck sensors are an essential ingredient for our robotic autonomy and navigation,” explains Michael Blanton, Renu’s Technical Director. “Low energy sensors allow Renubot to provide an automated vegetation management system that is repeatable and reliable to keep facilities running at peak performance while controlling costs. “

This is a good example of the confluence that occurs between the development of sensors, autonomous systems and companies that produce renewable energy.

“With its sophisticated and durable standalone lawn mower, Renu Robotics is revolutionizing the way solar and energy companies manage greenery,” says Laura Wrisley, vice president of sales for Velodyne Lidar. “Renubot demonstrates how Puck sensors enhance the precision and safety of autonomous vehicles, which operate without human intervention. “

The company’s robot, called Renubot, uses Puck sensors for high-precision navigation and obstacle avoidance. The mower uses LiDAR to navigate the site, as well as real-time GPS kinematic correction (RTK) that enables 2cm vehicle positioning accuracy. Renubot is a good example of a small autonomous robot, a type of robot that we are seeing more and more. It leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for autonomous command and control, and to learn and assess topography while performing highly accurate mowing and maintenance of facility grounds.

Source: .com

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