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Assessment of the Cutting Performance of a Robot Mower Using Custom Built Software

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa. Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Qprel® srl. Via Fiorentina 578/D, 51100 Pistoia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(5), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9050230
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Agriculture)
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Abstract

Before the introduction of positioning technologies in agriculture practices such as global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), data collection and management were time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks. Today, due to the introduction of advanced technologies, precise information on the performance of agricultural machines, and smaller autonomous vehicles such as robot mowers, can be collected in a relatively short time. The aim of this work was to track the performance of a robot mower in various turfgrass areas of an equal number of square meters but with four different shapes by using real-time kinematic (RTK)-GNSS devices, and to easily extract data by a custom built software capable of calculating the distance travelled by the robot mower, the forward speed, the cutting area, and the number of intersections of the trajectories. These data were then analyzed in order to provide useful functioning information for manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and practitioners. The path planning of the robot mower was random and the turfgrass area for each of the four shapes was 135 m2 without obstacles. The distance travelled by the robot mower, the mean forward speed, and the intersections of the trajectories were affected by the interaction between the time of cutting and the shape of the turfgrass. For all the different shapes, the whole turfgrass area was completely cut after two hours of mowing. The cutting efficiency decreased by increasing the time, as a consequence of the increase in overlaps. After 75 minutes of cutting, the efficiency was about 35% in all the turfgrass areas shapes, thus indicating a high level of overlapping. View Full-Text
Keywords: GNSS; lawnmower; localization; mowing; random coverage path planning; trajectory tracking; turfgrass GNSS; lawnmower; localization; mowing; random coverage path planning; trajectory tracking; turfgrass
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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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Martelloni, L.; Fontanelli, M.; Pieri, S.; Frasconi, C.; Caturegli, L.; Gaetani, M.; Grossi, N.; Magni, S.; Pirchio, M.; Raffaelli, M.; Volterrani, M.; Peruzzi, A. Assessment of the Cutting Performance of a Robot Mower Using Custom Built Software. Agronomy 2019, 9, 230.

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