Title : A method of manufacturing low cost industrial robots and electric vehicles
Introduction & Objective
Climate change, product and labour competition, have forced the smallhold farmer to embrace automation to boost productivity and yields. Automation in the 2020’s requires reliable transportation, electricity, and internet, all of which are limited on a smallhold farm. Key barriers include: lack of transportation, electricity, and internet service, coupled with costly enabling technologies, and limited local subject matter expertise.
Methodology / Approach
Resourcefulness is essential to mechanization on a farm. This runs contrary to the tech industry practice of planned obsolescence and disposal. One solution is: plug and play hardware that allow the farmer to assemble, repair, program, and service their own fleet of industrial machines. To that end, we developed a method of manufacturing low cost utility robots, transport vehicles, and solar/wind energy harvesting systems, all running on an open source Robot Operating System (ROS). We demonstrate this technology by fabricating a utility robot, and an all terrain (4X4) utility vehicle. Constructed of aluminum trusses, and weighing just 40 pounds, yet capable of transporting 200 pounds of cargo, on sale for less than $2,000.
Conclusions & Policy Implications
Electricity, internet, and automation are essential for productivity and competitiveness. With planned obsolescence, the priorities of technology suppliers are not aligned with the farmer’s realities. This patent pending method of manufacturing low cost industrial robots and electric vehicles, has met its objective. To create low cost machines the farmer can assemble, program, and repair, with basic hand tools.
Keywords: automation, robotics, utility robot, smallhold farm, Robot Operating System
What will the audience learn from your presentation?
- The audience will gain a better understanding of the barriers faced by smallhold farmers.
- The audience will learn of a novel technology for manufacturing robots and utility vehicles.
- This technology can be used as a hands on teaching tool in robotics and automation.
- We demonstrate the method and its derivatives by creating utility robots and vehicles: