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College of Engineering, National Sun Yat-sen University

NSYSU has developed an AI automatic spraying vehicle for assisting in agricultural tasks and disease prevention

The team led by Professor Wei-Chih Lin of the Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering at National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) has long been concerned about agricultural issues and committed to helping reduce labor burdens, recently developed an AI automatic spraying vehicle. Utilizing ultra-wideband positioning technology, according to the set route, the AI automatic spraying vehicle will automatically follow the predefined path and spray, allowing farmers to remotely operate it from home without needing to go out. Prof. Wei-Chih Lin emphasized that this AI automatic spraying vehicle can be used not only for farmland operations, such as spraying fertilizers or pesticides, but also for spraying disinfectants to prevent and control diseases such as dengue fever, having a wide range of applications. This machinery invention was recommended by the Department of Agricultural Science and Technology of the Ministry of Agriculture and showcased at the "2023 Taiwan Smart Agriweek".

After Wei-Chih Lin's team understood the problems that faced by farmers in pesticide spraying operations, they took the lead in designing the first-generation pesticide spraying vehicle controlled by remote control, where the farmer operated the vehicle while walking behind. This initially solved the problem of farmers carrying heavy pesticide containers on their backs. Subsequently, they developed a pesticide-spraying vehicle equipped with a camera and used nonwoven fabric wires to mark the spraying range on the ground. The length and size of the path were planned according to the farmer's own field. "Farmers do not need to follow behind the spraying vehicle; the spraying operation can be completed through image recognition and path-following," eliminating the risk of farmers being exposed to pesticides at close range.

"The new AI automatic spraying vehicle uses ultra-wideband positioning technology. After capturing the signal, the spraying range and route can be set without wires." Wei-Chih Lin further explained, "Farmers can stay at home while the vehicle performs the tasks." through remote control, the AI automatic spraying vehicle can automatically follow the originally planned route to operate. "Just like the sweeping robot at home returns to recharge when its battery is low, the AI automatic spraying vehicle will automatically go back to replenish when it runs out of spray materials."

In addition, the upgraded AI automatic spraying vehicle can resume spraying from the breakpoint, eliminating concerns over repeated pesticide spraying. It automatically determines the most efficient route between two points without retracing its original path, significantly saving time. "It's like turning on a map navigation system." The research team stated that due to a significant improvement in positioning accuracy, the automatic spraying vehicle can also be equipped with additional functional modules. For example, by adding a robotic arm, it can transform into a self-driving machine capable of assisting in agricultural harvesting operations, indicating a broad range of potential applications in the future.

With the support of NSYSU's Office of Global Industry-Academe Collaboration and Advancement, the new AI automatic spraying vehicle has been exhibited at the "2023 Taiwan Smart Agriweek" event. Foreign doctoral students in Wei-Chih Lin's research team introduced this technology to visiting groups from international people and Indian universities, leaving a profound impression of Taiwan's innovative smart agriculture technologies on international visitors.


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