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Helping connect and automate the agriculture industry.

AGRICULTURE MATERIAL HANDLING COMPANY // Agriculture Robotics

This material handling customer came to Logic PD to help them build a robotic solution for the agriculture and growing market to reduce the need for human labor. Utilizing Logic PD’s embedded expertise, the customer was able to incorporate the wireless technology they needed while reducing risk with product-ready software.

CHALLENGE

In many industries today the availability of labor, changing labor laws and the tightening of environmental regulations make it difficult to sustain normal operations. This is especially true in the agriculture market. Large growers have acres and acres of potted plants that make their way to greenhouses and nurseries to be sold each year. These potted plants start out as young seedlings and are packed closely together, then as they grow, the pots need to be spaced out. When winter comes, they are packed closely again. Moving thousands of potted plants several times a year is difficult, strenuous work and many growers are having a harder time to find laborers to do the work. The customer, a material handling company, decided to build their first robot to perform these manual tasks for growers all over the country. To help develop their robot, the customer turned to Logic PD for their robotics and embedded products expertise and complete product lifecycle management services.

SOLUTION

Logic PD’s software and electrical engineering teams were chosen to help the customer put together the main board and motor control for the robot. To meet their goals, the customer chose the AM3517 System on Module (SOM) for its compact, product-ready software. Based on Texas Instruments’ Sitara AM3517 microprocessor and designed in the SOM-M2 form factor, the AM3517 module offers essential features for embedded networking applications including Wi-Fi connectivity to create seamless communication from the controller to the robot.

Logic PD supported the customer through the Roadmapping Phase of the product lifecycle where engineers were asked to provide software support and diagnose issues as different iterations of the product were created.

RESULTS

Using an off-the-shelf solution, the customer was able to reduce their design risk and get to market faster with the wireless technology and power capabilities they were looking for. The final robotic solution uses sensors to detect individual potted plants and has the ability to pick up and move pots using reflective tape on the ground as a guide. The solution is on the market today and the customer is currently undergoing an initial review of the product to promote cost and manufacturing reductions.

CUSTOMER PROFILE

The customer is a material handling company that is best known for their innovative robotic solutions. The company’s line of robots are designed to aid workers with manual labor tasks in a variety of industries from agriculture to industrial markets.

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