Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mars probe to be used by agriculture

It was designed for use on Mars, but researchers at Scotland's University of Strathclyde, working in conjunction with the UK Space Agency's International Partnerships Space Programme (IPSP), have altered design and purpose of the space technology for a more down-to-earth application, a new mobile platform tool to be used as an agricultural monitoring system in the field. The newly-named AgRover, a tracked robotic system, carries a soil sensing instrument that can test the quality of soil in any field. Using a robotic arm and sensing probe, data collected is transmitted using an integrated, force feedback-controlled robotic system on the ground during the ongoing research project. Researchers say it has the potential of reducing the environmental impact of farming. "Robotic technology will be a key technological enabler for precision farming, and this project is a combination of frontier research programs in space robotic technologies. It focuses on a unique soil sensing technology, developed and built with UK capability; it's also based on space instrumentation and the deployment of a UK-developed, intuitive master robotic control system," Yan said...more

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