farm robots
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Parts and Expenses
Budget
Proposed Development Plan


Proposed Development Plan and Schedule
(Assuming sufficient funding. Otherwise see Budget for alternative plans.)


Stages
Stage description for development of robot/ROV [Remotely Operated Vehicle]
I
Development of a Remotely Operated Vehicle [ROV] version of the robot to develop some of the systems to get the robot going and to have the basic concepts "made into a reality." [Most of the 1st year.]
II
Semi-autonomous version. Introduction of some of the automated logic/programming for the ROV to actually do some of the work on its own. [End of the 1st year.]
III
Autonomous version. Indefinite process towards a robot that can work on its own to keep the use of pesticides and herbicides to a minimum. Only intervention required is maintenance and repairs. [Continuous process - forever.]


Month
Achievements
Costs
Other
Pre-Start
Interview and select at least two more team members to aid in the development & building of the robots.
With additional people there will not only be more people power to actually build the robots but also more creativity & this would allow for a more efficient exchange of ideas and development of the prototype, and overcoming any design hurdles that are encountered.
Incorporate to allow company to gain tax benefits through write-offs.


Month 1
Software:   Selection of software & purchasing of it for developing the project.
                   Microsoft Visual C++ OR  QNX Neutrino OR ? for software/computer programming.
                   Xilinx for electrical design and simulation. Synplicity(?) for VHDL electrical design programming.
                   AutoCAD/Inventor OR Solid Works OR ? for mechanical design.

Electrical Systems:   Look at what systems are needed & selection of parts to get started on interfacing the mechanical systems with the computer sensors, and circuitry for ROV operations.

Mechanical Systems:  Pricing of parts to select the most economically viable parts to finalize drawings before committing to a design, and start prototype drawings.


Month 2
Software:  Initial design of software for monitoring systems. Design analysis of having three PC104 computers which will communicate with each other and provide redundancy and optimum real time information processing.

Electrical Systems:  Development of plans & circuitry for the electrical systems for REMOTE control functionality.

Mechanical Systems:  Completion of the drawings for initial mechanical design of the prototype with selected parts, and break down of when the parts need to be ordered based on the selection of the size/scale of the prototype to build.


Month 3
Software:  Continuation of sensor monitoring & encoding & decoding of the control signals for ROV operation.

Electrical Systems:  With respect to the PC104 computers the connecting of sensors  for the collection of information processing & encoding/decoding. Also development of the power system.

Mechanical Systems:  Begin construction of the six wheeled base of the robot, and separately start building an arm on a separate base. But the substitute base must consider interfacing later with the wheeled base.


Month 4
Software:  Continuation of software for control through the PC104 computers and first look at image analysis of insects and leaves.

Electrical Systems:  Electronics for systems and power.

Mechanical Systems:  Continue with the base and arm.


Month 5
Software:   To be determined based on challenges encountered.

Electrical Systems:  Electrical systems for ROV operation.

Mechanical Systems:  Completion of drive system for the ROV base.


Month 6
Software:  To be determined based on challenges encountered.

Electrical Systems:  Continuation of electrical systems for ROV operation.

Mechanical Systems: Unite arm & base. Select and start design of insect collection apparatus.


Month 7
Software:  Guidance software for arm to be able to pick up an insect at a specific location.

Electrical Systems:  Attach cameras to robot and connect to remote control systems.

Mechanical Systems:  Continue to work on base & arm. Test collection system and make adjustments or re-design.


Month 8
Software:  Continuation of work on guidance software.

Electrical Systems:  To be determined based on challenges encountered.

Mechanical Systems:  Combine robot & arm with insect collection system and test ROV operation. Analysis for what needs to be automated.


Month 9
Software:  To be determined based on challenges encountered.

Electrical Systems: 
To be determined based on challenges encountered.

Mechanical Systems:  Continue testing & analysis of design. Develop alternative insect collection mechanisms.


Month 10
Software:  Work on navigation and path following to ensure ROV/robot is going to all the areas of the area it is supposed to be protecting.

Electrical Systems: 
Addition of GPS to allow for navigation and monitoring that the robot traverses entire predefined area.

Mechanical Systems:  To be determined by choice in design and challenges encountered.


Month 11
Software:  Continuation of work on navigation system.

Electrical Systems:  Development of solar recharging system and solar for additional electrical energy for various systems.

Mechanical Systems: 
To be determined by choice in design and challenges encountered.


Month 12
Software:  More automation of some of the movements so that less needs to be remotely controlled.

Electrical Systems:  Continuation of solar energy systems.

Mechanical Systems: 
To be determined by choice in design and challenges encountered.


Month 13+
Work towards making the orchard robot as autonomous as possible.  Consider having them to be designed to be partially controlled by people if this makes it more practical to allow them to be used by orchards sooner. As opposed to making them fully autonomous first.

Eventually start on multi-legged robots next. Which would be better suited for working in fields on crops like potatoes, tobacco, ...


Continuation  into the future for new designs and features.






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