Modified Design of a Precision Planter for a Robotic Assistant Farmer
Modified design of a planter to be attached to a mobile robot, was the main objective of this project. This research project was part of a larger project, called “Developing robotics assisted technology for farming”. The main motivation for this research project is the fact that mobile robot, is an electric powered vehicle with limited power and pulling force. Thus, a customized planter with a customized connection mechanism should be designed. Besides, it should require less draft force compared to existing planters so that it can be pulled by the mobile robot. The developed planter should have the same efficiency as the existing planters in seeding. To find the forces between soil engagement tool (disc coulter) and soil, experiments were designed and performed in the Linear Soil Bin at University of Saskatchewan. Disc and tilt angle of a disc coulter was changed and draft, vertical and side forces applied to it were measured to find the disc and tilt angle combinations that results in minimum draft force. Experiments showed that 7° disc angle and 25° tilt angle provides the least draft force compared to other disc angle and tilt angle combinations. Then, using the knowledge obtained from literature and the soil bin experiments, a planter was designed conceptually and in detail, based on the existing CNH planter. For further analyses computer modeling was performed. The whole planter was modeled in 3D, using SolidWorks. Stress analysis was performed in ANSYS Workbench to calculate safety factor of the designed parts. Two prototypes were fabricated and were attached to the mobile robot for field tests. Tests were performed in indoor settings to measure the total draft force required to pull developed planters. Draft force was very close to the value that was calculated in design stage. Results showed that an average of 460 N pulling force is required to pull one row planter for 50 mm depth of cut, which can be compared to n existing CNH corn planter that requires a pulling force of between 900 N to 1300 N. Seed drop accuracy and function of the developed planters in opening and closing a packed soil in presence of residue, were also observed in outdoor tests.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeSzyszkowski, Walerian; Odeshi, Akindele
Copyright DateFebruary 2014