Agricultural Robot Powered with Reach RS+ Helps to Increase Crop Yields in the Pacific Region

Digital Farmhand is a low-cost robot designed by a group of engineers from the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). The system aims to help smallholder farmers from developing countries to increase food production and maximize nutrition security.

Each robot is composed of an autonomous mobile platform. The platform has a three-point hitch mechanism for agricultural implements. Reach RS+ is used on the Digital Farmhand robot for high-accuracy navigation.

Such a setup allows collecting information for soil and field analysis, precision spraying, planting, irrigation, and health evaluation. The system adapts to a small-scale farmer’s individual needs and reduces time spent on laborious farm duties.

Digital Farmhand is collecting data for crop analysis
The robot is collecting data for crop analysis in Fiji

In summer 2018, researchers from the ACFR took the Digital Farmhand to Samoa and Fiji for piloting. The goal was to see if it was possible to use the robot to increase crop yields and to understand what level of technology would be appropriate to assist farmers.

For more information, watch these documentaries on the Digital Farmhand trials in Samoa and Fiji:

A very special thanks to our user Muhammad Esa Attia, Lead Engineer for the Digital Farmhand project from the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics, for sharing videos.