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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Keywords: Patents, Agriculture, Automation
Applicant: Hanley; Brian P., USAPatent number: US6,671,582Publication date: 30 December 2003Title: Flexible agricultural automation
The object of this invention is to provide a means for replacing human labour on farms in situations where conventional mechanical designs will not work. The invention utilises a flexible robot platform that can be reconfigured by software and different attachments. It comprises a robotic arm; a computer or artificial intelligence system that can sense and decide before acting on the work object; suitable machine vision, laser rastering, radar, infrared, ultrasound, touch or chemical sensors; and a method for alerting a human operator where intervention is required.
The flexible agricultural automation system described is suitable for: pruning, harvesting, weeding, trimming, tying, planting, spraying, pollinating or other operations on plants, and will enable large scale farming to take up labour intensive farming practices which are currently only practical for small-scale farming.