Starting in May, the Grain Weevil will begin systematic on-the-farm trials and "unique opportunity" testing. The on-the-farm trials will consist of workflow mapping, physical grain characteristics as it pertains to robotic engagement, harsh environment impact study on the robots electronics, and quantifying the grain management robot impact. Thanks to AgLaunch365, The Combine Insights Network, and Ag Ventures Alliance, the Grain Weevil team will be visiting two farms in Nebraska, two in Tennessee, and one (possibly two) in Iowa. We will spend nearly 500 hours of testing time in real farm conditions performing scientific studies and accomplishing necessary tasks.
The following objectives will be met during our trials:
Objective 1: Study the physical aspects of grain in long term storage with regards to robotic management and workflow. Task 1) Classify and characterize key grain surface variables that impact robotic effectiveness; Task 2) Identify top 3-5 grain management tasks by frequency and importance and analyze impact of grain characteristics on each task; Task 3) Design and conduct controlled environmental studies to quantify performance requirements.
Objective 2: Develop patterns of engagement needed to effectively perform use-case tasks within the grain bin. Task 1) Identify and define potential grain engagement paths/patterns for top use case tasks; 2) Use remote-controlled tests to evaluate and optimize engagement pattern effectiveness; 3) Implement prototype design changes as needed and begin software development for autonomous tasks.
Objective 3: Continue data collection and evaluation through multiple iterations of each use-case task while gathering user experience feedback of final installations. Task 1) Monitor and evaluate installation/user engagement process; Task 2) Use data communications software to manage use-case tasks