Riparian zones, meadows and other marginal areas contain large and untapped resources of biomass that could potentially be used for biogas and bio-refinery. In Denmark alone, it is estimated that 160 - 180,000 hectares of unused grasslands could be harvested with the right technology.
The goal of the GrassBots project has been to develop an advanced, semi-autonomous lightweight robot for economically and environmentally sustainable harvesting of riperian zones and other grasslands. The robot is based on an existing diesel-hydraulic crawler based tool carrier with mower, enhanced with a precise RTK GNSS positioning system with an advanced navigation software that makes semi-autonomous harvesting of grass possible, using predetermined routes or waypoints.
The GrassBots concept has many advantages over traditional grass harvesting machines, for example
Reduced soil compaction due to low weight
Semi-autonomous driving with cost-effective and optimized driving patterns resulting in reduced fuel consumption
Harvesting of grass on sensitive, wet grasslands can provide renewable energy and organic fertiliser
The GrassBot consists of Lynex TX1500 carrier, Kongskilde's CM 305 F mower, and Conpleks Robotech Controller 501 with advanced navigation software based on a FroboMind software architecture and ROS middleware, assisted by a highly accurate RTK GNSS positioning system.
Partners in the project: Kongskilde, Agro Business Park, Lynex, Conpleks Innovation, University of Aarhus, University of South Denmark and Bertelsen Design.
Project period: 2012 - 2014