4. Soil‐engaged weeding

Task overview

For this task, the robots are navigating autonomously. The robots shall remove weeds from three (3) weed patches represented by red golf tees. Probably a soil engaged active tool is needed to succeed in this task. In order to minimize the used energy the tool should be active only on the weed spots. Task 4 is conducted on the area used in task 2 with straight rows. Nevertheless, no specific path sequence will be given as in task 2 and the robot has to turn on the headland and return in the adjacent row. The three weed patches will be placed one on each of the three first row spacing. Thus, the end of the third row spacing is the finish line for this task.

The rules for entering the field, moving the robot, using remote controller etc. are the same as in task 1, 2 and 3.

Field conditions

The weed patches are objects represented by red golf tees distributed between (!) the rows in the soil like in task 3. The weeds are placed as weed patches in a squared area 25 cm × 25 cm (10 red tees per weed patch). The soil in the weed patches will be irregular and not flattened, but there will be no stones or pebbles. The red tees will be placed about 2 cm into the soil, so only the upper part of the tees is visible (aprox 1 .2 cm). The weed patches are located in a centered band of 25 cm width between the rows. Robots may drive across or over them without a penalty. No weeds are located within rows and on headlands. A possible example is illustrated in picture 4.

Rules for robots

Each robot has only one attempt. The maximum available time for the run is 5 minutes. The robot shall remove the red tees from the weed patch. Each tee removed from the weed patch counts, each tee moved to the headland outside the crop area counts more and each tee collected on the robot and transferred to the end of the third row spacing counts most. There will be an additional assessment of the cleanliness of the ‘weeds’ (tees) when you store them on the machine. Try to pick up as less soil as possible. Tillage outside the weed patches will be punished.

Assessment

The Jury registers and assesses the number of weeds (tees) where they are remaining after the run:

  • Tees that are stored and transferred to the finish line + / plus 4 points/tee
  • Tees delivered to the headlands + / plus 2 points/tee
  • Tees cleared and removed from weed patches + / plus 1 point/tee.
  • Cleanliness of the weeds (tees)

Tilled travelled distance between the rows and outside the patches will be punished with 1 negative point per meter even in an intermittently mode. A tolerance of 10 cm for tillage before and after the weed patches will not be punished.

Crop plant damage by the robot will result in a penalty of 1 point per plant.

The total travelled distance will not be assessed. The task completing teams will be ranked by the number of points as described above. The best 3 teams will be rewarded. This task 4, together with tasks 1, 2 and 3, contributes to the overall contest winner 2018. Points for the overall winner will be given as described in chapter 0.3 Awards.

Picture of possible locations of weed patches for task 4. The zoom area of 25 cm × 25 cm of one weed patch (with ten red weeds) is also indicated.
Picture 4 – Possible locations of weed patches for task 4. The zoom area of 25 cm × 25 cm of one weed patch (with ten red weeds) is also indicated.
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