Technical Comittee on: Agricultural Robotics and Automation
Program July, 2015

Fernando Auat Cheein, Federico Santa María Technical University (UTFSM), in Valparaíso, and Miguel Torres-Torriti, Department of Electrical Engineering of the School of Engineering of the PUC Chile: Agricultural Robotics in Chile: Challenges and Solutions in The Andes Mountains

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Abstract

In recent years, agriculture in Chile has experienced serious challenges that have affected its productivity, such as low water reserves due to climate change, loss of arable land due to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and the upward trend of the mining industry. To improve productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural industry in these adverse scenarios, it becomes necessary to introduce and develop agricultural automation and sensing technologies for both primary (harvesting, seeding, fertilizing, spraying) and secondary tasks (grove supervision, weed detection, hauling, mowing). Additionally, these innovations should be implemented in a framework that takes into account information about the crop and its surroundings. In this presentation we will show how the Industrial and Autonomous Robotics Research Group and Advanced Center of Electrical and Electronic Engineering are facing the challenges of robotics in agriculture in Chile from both a research and an innovation perspective.

Speakers

Fernando Auat Cheein received the Doctorate degree in 2009 and the Master of Science degree in 2005, both in San Juan, Argentina. Since 2013 he is an assistant Professor with Federico Santa María Technical University (UTFSM), in Valparaíso, Chile, after doing his post doc research stay in agricultural robotics also in Argentina. He is the founder of GRAI (Autonomous and Industrial Robotics Research Group, in the UTFSM, as well as a Principal Research at the Advanced Center for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, in Valparaiso, Chile. His field of experience is SLAM, control systems, remote sensing and estimation theory applied to dynamical systems. His current research projects (funding by both private and public funds) include: robotics for the Chilean agricultural context, remote sensing for orchard characterization, slippage, navigation and control of service units and human-robot interaction in agricultural tasks. His robotic research group is fully focused on developing new robotic solutions for agricultural processes. Link: http://profesores.elo.utfsm.cl/~fauat

Miguel Torres-Torriti received the Ph.D. degree from McGill University in 2003, and B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC Chile), in 1996 and 1998, respectively. Between 2004 and 2005 he was Senior Applications Engineer with General Electric Chile in the implementation of the multivariable process controllers for the ENAP Bío Bío and Magallanes refineries. In 2005 he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering of the School of Engineering of the PUC Chile, where he is currently Associate Professor, Director of the undergraduate program in Autonomous and Robotic Systems, and Associate Dean of Social Responsibility. His field of experience is in systems modeling and control, estimation, robot dynamics, sensors and perception. His current research projects include the development of navigation strategies for mining and agricultural machines considering interactions with the environment, data fusion of satellite imagery and wireless sensor networks for early warning of flash-floods, and the development of assistive devices for persons with motor disabilities.

Last modified: aug. 2015 by Eldert van Henten and Sam Blaauw