Special Issue on Advanced Robotics in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Kazuo Ishii, Eiji Hayashi, Norhisam Bin Misron, and Blair Thornton
Professor, Department of Human Intelligence Systems, Kyushu Institute of Technology
2-4 Hibikino, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 808-0196, Japan
Professor, Department of Mechanical Information Science and Technology, Kyushu Institute of Technology
680-1 Kawazu, Iizuka, Fukuoka 820-8502, Japan
Professor, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Associate Professor, Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, University of Southampton
University Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
The importance of primary industries, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, is obvious and needless to mention, however, the reduction of the working population and the aging problem make the situation of primary industry more sever. To compensate for the issues, the advanced technology in robotics has attracted attentions and expected the contributions in terms of productivity, cost effectiveness, pesticide-less, monitoring of the growth and harvesting, etc. Recently, robotic technologies are gradually being used in primary industry and their application area will expand more in the near future. This special issue’s objectives include collecting recent advances, automation, mechanization, research trends and their applications in agriculture, forestry and fisheries to promote a deeper understanding of major conceptual and technical challenges and facilitate spreading of recent breakthroughs in primary industries, and contribute to the enhancement of the quality of agricultural, forestry and fisheries robots by introducing the state-of-the-art in sensing, mobility, manipulation and related technologies.
In this special issue, twelve papers are included. The first paper by Noguchi is the survey paper of the state-of-the-art in the agricultural vehicle type robots and discusses the future scope of agriculture with robotics. The next three papers are on tomato-monitoring system, and Fukui et al. propose a tomato fruit volume estimation method using saliency-based image processing and point cloud and clustering technology, Yoshida et al. do the cutting point identification for tomato-harvesting using a RGBD sensor and evaluate in the real farm experiments, and Fujinaga et al. present an image mosaicking method of tomato yard based on the infrared images and color images of tomato-clusters in the large green house. The fifth paper by Sori et al. reports a paddy weeding robot in wet-rice field to realize the pesticide-free produce of rice, and the sixth paper by Shigeta et al. is about an image processing system to measure cow’s BCS (Body Condition Score) automatically before milking cows and analyzes the two months data by CNN (Convolutional Neural Network). The seventh paper by Inoue et al. reports on an upper-limb power assist robot with a single actuator to reduce the weight and cost. The assist machine supports the shoulder and elbow movements for viticulture operations and upper-limb holding for load transport tasks. In the next paper, Tominaga et al. show an autonomous robotic system to move between the trees without damaging them and to cut the weeds in the forest for the forest industry. The last four papers are for the fishery industry, and Komeyama et al. propose a methods for monitoring the size of fish, red sea bream (RSB) aquaculture by developing a stereo vision system to avoid the risks of physical injury and mental stress to the fish. Nishida et al. report on a hovering type underwater robot to measure seafloor for monitoring marine resources whose sensor can be replaced depending on missions as the open hardware system. Yasukawa et al. propose a vision system for an autonomous underwater robot with a benthos sampling function, especially, sampling-autonomous underwater vehicles (SAUVs) to achieve a new sampling mission. The last paper by Han et al. is for gait planning and simulation analysis of an amphibious quadruped robot in the field of fisheries and aquaculture.
We hope that this special issue can contributes to find solutions in primary industries, agriculture, forestry and fisheries.