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Sensors 2015, 15(3), 5402-5428; doi:10.3390/s150305402

Distributed Multi-Level Supervision to Effectively Monitor the Operations of a Fleet of Autonomous Vehicles in Agricultural Tasks

Centre for Automation and Robotics, (CSIC-UPM), Arganda del Rey, 28500 Madrid, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Received: 4 January 2015 / Revised: 13 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 5 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture and Forestry: Sensors, Technologies and Procedures)
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Abstract

This paper describes a supervisor system for monitoring the operation of automated agricultural vehicles. The system analyses all of the information provided by the sensors and subsystems on the vehicles in real time and notifies the user when a failure or potentially dangerous situation is detected. In some situations, it is even able to execute a neutralising protocol to remedy the failure. The system is based on a distributed and multi-level architecture that divides the supervision into different subsystems, allowing for better management of the detection and repair of failures. The proposed supervision system was developed to perform well in several scenarios, such as spraying canopy treatments against insects and diseases and selective weed treatments, by either spraying herbicide or burning pests with a mechanical-thermal actuator. Results are presented for selective weed treatment by the spraying of herbicide. The system successfully supervised the task; it detected failures such as service disruptions, incorrect working speeds, incorrect implement states, and potential collisions. Moreover, the system was able to prevent collisions between vehicles by taking action to avoid intersecting trajectories. The results show that the proposed system is a highly useful tool for managing fleets of autonomous vehicles. In particular, it can be used to manage agricultural vehicles during treatment operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: supervision system; fault detection; fault recovery; distributed multi-level architecture; autonomous agricultural vehicle; fleet of robots supervision system; fault detection; fault recovery; distributed multi-level architecture; autonomous agricultural vehicle; fleet of robots
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Conesa-Muñoz, J.; Gonzalez-de-Soto, M.; Gonzalez-de-Santos, P.; Ribeiro, A. Distributed Multi-Level Supervision to Effectively Monitor the Operations of a Fleet of Autonomous Vehicles in Agricultural Tasks. Sensors 2015, 15, 5402-5428.

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