Special Issue "Agricultural and Field Robotics"
A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)
Prof. Dr. Manoj Karkee
Associate Professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, Washington State University, 24106 N, Bunn Road, Prosser, WA 99350, USA
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Interests: machine vision; field robotics; human machine collaboration; sensing and control agricultural system modeling and simulation
Agriculture is one of the oldest and most important industries that human civilization has established. Fundamentally, agriculture relies on the efficient utilization of natural resources, such as land, water, nutrition, and other chemicals to produce the basic necessities of human lives, including food, fiber, feed, and fuel. As predicted by the United Nations, the world’s population will increase to approximately 10 billion by 2050. The continuously increasing pressure to feed a rapidly growing population presents a huge challenge to the agricultural industry: How to sustainably produce enough agricultural supplies to meet such a huge demand.
Agricultural mechanization; use of machinery to perform laborious operations; has helped improve agricultural productivity through more efficient use of labor, increased timeliness of operations, and more efficient input management. Continuing advancement in agricultural mechanization and automation technologies in recent decades has led the agriculture into an era of robotic farming era. Agricultural robots, in general, can be defined as a line of intelligent machinery that exhibits some similar behaviors to a human operator, such as the capabilities of perception, reasoning and manipulation in farming settings to perform predetermined operations and tasks, with or without human supervision. Such robotic technologies have a potential to further reduce the use of labor and increase the precision and efficiency of production inputs thus contributing to increased agricultural productively and long-term sustainability of the industry.
Agricultural products can be broadly grouped into food, feed and raw materials for various other products, all cultivated differently in different geographic reasons around the world. It results in a wide variation in mechanisms, technologies and machines required to do complete different agricultural operations or handle special agricultural challenges. For example, after over a few decades of research and development, thousands of milking robots have been installed in dairy farms, tractors are auto-guided and auto-steered in performing different field operations, and drones are offering unique and novel applications in agriculture to improve productivity and reduce labor and input use, worldwide. This is just the beginning of what is expected to be a revolution in the way agricultural industry is operated. The objective of this Special Issue is, therefore, to promote a deeper understanding of major conceptual and technical challenges and facilitate spreading of recent breakthroughs in agricultural robotics. This Special Issue, by achieving this objective, is expected to enable safe, efficient, and economical agricultural production, and to advance the state-of-the-art in sensing, mobility, manipulation, and management technologies applied to the production of grain, fruit, vegetable, meat, milk and other agricultural products.
Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
- Sensing technologies for situation awareness in agricultural applications
- Control strategies for robot manipulation in agricultural applications
- Automatic guidance of robotic vehicle in agriculture sites
- UASs or drones in agriculture
- Robotics for row crop production
- Robotics for specialty crop production (including fruit and vegetable)
- Robotics for greenhouse and vertical farming systems
- Robots for animal production
- Machine learning and arterial intelligence in agriculture
- Applications and supervision of agricultural robots
- Management and maintenance of agricultural robots
- Robotic farming economic analysis
Prof. Dr. Qin Zhang
Prof. Dr. Manoj Karkee
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Machine vision and other sensing systems
- Modeling, simulation, and controls
- Navigation and guidance
- End-effectors and manipulators
- Artificial intelligence
- Soft computing and machine learning
- Autonomous operations
- Task management
- Operation supervision
- Robot maintenance
- Application economics
- Robot operator training