Agriculture automation

Hey everyone,
I have been thinking for a while of building my own Agriculture automation. And now i will start with it. My family has a Farm and i was thinking about of installing an Adruino with GPS tracking to a tractor. The Arduino would send the GPS-data to a cloud and a Programm would evaluate this data and showing the driver how and where to drive. I know this will be a very difficult and long term project. Does someone know what should i start with or what do i need? I have an Adruino UNO but maybe i will buy a bigger one, I also need a GPS-module and LTE.

1 Like

Hey everyone,
I have been thinking for a while of building my own Agriculture automation. And now i will start with it. My family has a Farm and i was thinking about of installing an Adruino with GPS tracking to a tractor. The Arduino would send the GPS-data to a cloud and a Programm would evaluate this data and showing the driver how and where to drive. I know this will be a very difficult and long term project. Does someone know what should i start with or what do i need? I have an Adruino UNO but maybe i will buy a bigger one, I also need a GPS-module and LTE.

Why “cloud”? Why arduino and not a simple GPS like TomTom?

I'd guess you will want a system that is easily extensible and has a centralized control. I suggest using MQTT as a way to pass data around. MQTT was developed to let pipeline stations send and receive operational data to and from a centralized location.

I've seen here on this site and on the RPi site a number of successful Agriculture automations using MQTT.

As an example.

I have a weather station, outside, that sends data to a MQTT Broker, a RPi running the MQTT broker software. I can go to my website and see the outside conditions. I can, also, adjust my HVAC system from my web site. Consider I am heading home from a thing, I go to my site. See its getting cold. I can adjust the temperature of my heating system, turn the heating on or off and even change from heating to cooling. I have a house humidifier I control from my website. I have a system that takes care of some house plants such as turns off/on a sunlamp.

MQTT is the transmission medium that passes the messages around.

I use ESP32's, wireless MCU's.

Yes, you'll need a GPS.

The first thing I would do is figure out what kind of accuracy you need. Agricultural systems often want better fixes than raw GPS can achieve and consequently have to use differential GPS.

What are you planning to have your system do?

@jubhub

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zwieblum:
Why “cloud”? Why arduino and not a simple GPS like TomTom?

@zwieblum What is TomTom? is it like a nav System where i can send my position?

@wildbill My plan is to see where i am driving. Maybe if everything works in some weeks i also would like to make some upgrades to have a kinda self steering tractor. The position would print out on a display like this

Screenshot 2020-12-12 144543.png

Screenshot 2020-12-12 144543.png

@zwieblum But thats a car Navigation-system right? I dont have to see the roads, i want it more like the pic i posted. The systems you can buy are very expensive so i thought hey i can do this myself!

Again, what accuracy are you looking for? Your image seems to imply centimeter.

jubhub:
The systems you can buy are very expensive so i thought hey i can do this myself![/color][/ltr]

Csan you post a link to such a system?

jubhub:
i want it more like the pic i posted. The systems you can buy are very expensive so i thought hey i can do this myself!

If you thinking about a DIY system for guiding tractors accuratly around fields then stop and think a moment;

Why do you think they are so expensive ?

@zwieblum this would be a self steering system up to 10.000€ of course i know i cannot do sth like this. I would be happy with a system that tells me where i am and where i already have been. If i achieve that i can think about a half-self steering system.
https://www.deere.com/en/technology-products/precision-ag-technology/guidance/starfire-6000-receiver/

A standard GPS will give you a 3m to 10m accuracy, most of the time.

Is that level of accuracy adequate ?

With a GPS with WPS you can get to within 13 feet fairly accurately. I'd first make a project using a MCU and a GPS and a display to see how well things work and as a way to begin noting waypoints for your tractor area. I'd see how accurate the waypoints are by visiting them several times over the course of some time. I'd also, using the GPS that is to be used for the project outline the field, taking a series of measurements and place perimeter waypoint markers. Visit those markers with the gps to get a average of the positional readings. With a plot of internal field waypoints and perimeter waypoints you almost good to go with a digital fence.

Next would be to add to the field hard waypoints. Hard waypoints would be spots where, when I am at those locations the positional data is updated and adjusted to compensate for any drifts that may occur. I'd work on making sure that the MCU can determine the location in your fields with repeated desired accuracy before moving onto self driving.

I would consider this project as a multi-MCU project and keep that in mind when developing. I mean multi is one MCU dedicated to keeping track of where the tractor is. One MCU to control the drive circuits. One MCU to take take in info from the other MCU's and make decisions, a brain MCU if you will.

1-2 meter would be ok if this is possible...I also found GPS module with less than +-1m

Thank you all for your replys but do you guys think this project is actionable?

It only has that kind of accuracy with differential GPS or SBAS if available. Otherwise it's no more accurate than any other GPS.

When you build a model of your movement and position estimate it'll be way better than plain GPS - but you'll need to do the maths.