By Xumin Gao
This summer we spent a week exploring how the Spot robot can assist with the task of automatic aphid counting. We did a preliminary field test with Spot. Specifically, Spot went into the sugar beet field and walked to the location of yellow water pans which are used to catch aphids, then the arm of Spot moved to the top of the yellow water pans, took images and then counted aphids using the aphid counting network we proposed. Unfortunately, when we conducted tests, the migration of the aphids had already stopped, so it hardly found any aphids in the yellow water pan.
We have found that Spot can easily walk through crops and causes less damage to crops compared with the wheeled robots, because it uses its leg to move. In this case, crops can also recover quickly.
In the future, we hope to spend more time making Spot more automated and intelligent to assist our automatic aphid counting task. This work is seen as an important exploration of the potential of Spot robots for the development of cutting-edge agricultural technology.
We can’t wait to see what else Spot can get up to!