Long distance autonomous trajectory tracking for an orchard vehicle

Gokhan Bayar (Mechanical Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and Field Robotics Center, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Publication date: 4 January 2013



The purpose of this paper is to present work which is a part of the Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops project (CASC). Desired trajectory tracking objective has been previously performed by using a non‐model based approach in this project. Long distance autonomous drive has been achieved; however the results haven't met the expectations of the project requirements. In order to provide these requirements, this study is conducted. In this study, long distance autonomous trajectory tracking for an orchard vehicle is studied. Besides longitudinal motion, lateral motion of the vehicle is also considered. The longitudinal and lateral errors are objected to keep into a region of less than 10 cm.


Car‐like robot kinematic modeling approach is used to create desired trajectory. In order to control longitudinal velocity and steering angle of the vehicle, a controller methodology is proposed. Stability of the controller proposed is shown by using Lyapunov stability approach.


The proposed model is adapted into a four‐wheeled autonomous orchard vehicle and tested in an experimental orchard for long distance autonomous drives. More than 15 km autonomous drive is successfully achieved and the details are presented in this paper.


In this study, long distance autonomous trajectory tracking for an orchard vehicle is focused. A model based control strategy, including the information about longitudinal and lateral motion of the vehicle, is constructed. A new approach to create steering angles for turning operations of the orchard vehicle is introduced. It is objected that the longitudinal and lateral errors should be less than 10 cm during the trajectory tracking task.



Bayar, G. (2013), "Long distance autonomous trajectory tracking for an orchard vehicle", Industrial Robot, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 27-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/01439911311294237

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