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REU Student Project Abstract

Darius Tubbs Headshot
Darius Tubbs
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Girish Chowdhary
Field Testing and Data Collection for Autonomous Robots
The advancement of agricultural is tied directly to the advancement of our civilization. The growth of crops is important to the global landscapes as they provide resources that can enrich lives. They offer a variety in human diets, as well as provide a major component of international exports. It is important to understand the crop and its environment so it Is possible to efficiently grow all other kinds of crops. Due to the advancement of agricultural over the last century, it becomes difficult to gather the data necessary for analysis. Due either to the size of the plotted land, size of the workforce over that plotted land, or the conditions of the area, the use of technology became required to collect and share data. This becomes important when you factor in climate change, as that affects how the crop grows differently than previously studied. For the summer of 2022, I have worked with the company EarthSense to help record data to improve their TerraSentia robot. With the use of machine learning, the TerraSentia is able to measure traits from crops, such as crop height, plant biomass, and to detect and identify diseases. The testing from the fields is designed to gather all of that data to be studied and to improve the robot’s efficiency. Over the past few weeks, the number of crashes has gone down considerably while also increasing the type of rows. In the lab, that data from the movement of the robot is then studied so that the code can be refined to limit the amount of crashes per test. This is important so that there is a sustainable amount of crops for use in the future.