TrimBot2020 is a project that researches the robotics and vision technologies to prototype the first outdoor garden trimming robot. The robot will navigate over varying terrain, approach rose bushes, hedges and boxwood topiary, to trim them to an ideal shape.
Recently the European consortium could demonstrate the first autonomous trimming action of a boxwood plant. The boxwood was trimmed back a few centimetres using the by Wageningen University & Research designed trimming tools while maintaining the spherical shape of the bush. The demonstration showed the successful integration of the vision pipeline for the 3D cameras on the arm and the motion planning pipeline for the manipulator. In the current stage of the project, the robotic manipulator is still placed on a fixed position. In September 2017 an outdoor demonstration of the autonomous navigation of the mobile base is scheduled. Later in the project the arm will be integrated with the mobile base.
The TrimBot2020 consortium is co-ordinated by the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh (UK) and involves 8 teams from 4 different countries (United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland). Each team with a well-defined and complementary role.
The main contributions of Wageningen University & Research in TrimBot2020 are:
- Design and construction of the manipulator and cutting tools capable of performing the specified tasks.
- Motion planning for the manipulator and the implementation of a navigation and trimming servoing mechanism.
- Support decisions on when and where to trim each plant using functional-structural plant models (FSPM). Such models integrate the simulation of structure (e.g. leaf shape, branching) and function (i.e. physiology) in one dynamic model, thus predicting plant growth and appearance.
For more information visit the Trimbot2020 webpage at www.trimbot2020.org.
TrimBot2020 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 688007.