Lincolnshire University robot

A robot will be put to work in the fields of the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme campus from this season.

Developed in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, researchers are now looking to develop its capabilities further by making it driverless.

See also: Researchers to grow and harvest crop using only robots

“The idea is it will wander round fields, sensing crops, measuring fertility and moisture, then providing that information back to farmers,” said Simon Pearson, director of the Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology.

He adds that the machine is fully equipped to run over rough terrain with large wheels and off-road tyres. The large square structure of the robot means it has the ability to be adapted to a variety of roles, depending on what the farmer requires, including fitting a range of sensors or equipment.

“It could be weeding equipment, spraying equipment, but what farmers need is a platform to move across their fields so we can increase the precision of their agricultural systems,” said Professor Pearson.

See a demonstration of the robot in the video below (courtesy of Lincoln University).