RHEA – Robot Fleets for Highly Effective Agriculture and Forestry Management
Comprehensive pest management using drones and ground-based robots
Source: RHEA project
The RHEA project – funded by the 7th EC Framework Programme – focuses on a new generation of automated and robotic systems for both chemical and physical management of pests. A fleet of small, heterogeneous cooperative robots (Unmanned Ground Vehicles, UGV and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAV) equipped with advanced perception systems, improved end-effectors and enhanced decision-making algorithms are being evaluated in three main stages: chemical control of weeds in winter wheat crops, physical control of weeds in maize crops, and application of pesticides in olive trees.
The RHEA consortium joints a number of multidisciplinary, experienced researchers capable of improving individual scientific knowledge, but a large cooperation project is demanded to sum up the individual efforts in a holistic manner.
The success of RHEA could bring a new means of applying automatic systems to agriculture and forestry crops with an important impact in improving the economy and environment as well as in maintaining the sustainability of rural areas by launching new technological jobs.