Feasibility Study of Weeding Robots in Rice Fields Inspired by Natural Ducks

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8th International Conference on Bio-inspired Information and Communications Technologies (formerly BIONETICS)
Atsunori Maruyama1, Keitaro Naruse1
1: University of Aizu

    The objective of this research project is to develop a robotic weeding system for rice fields that will enable chemical-free rice farming, giving us safer and more valuable rice. We take the approach of moving a large number of robots around the field, which prevents weed seeds from sprouting. This is inspired by an existing rice farming method that utilizes natural ducks. One of the major research issues is to develop a robot body and locomotion method that will have sufficient weeding ability when working in the field. This paper reports on the results of a feasibility study of our artificial duck robots in an actual rice field, in which the robots demonstrate sufficient mobility for successful weeding.