In this article, the development of the Reconfigurable Data Acquisition Vehicle (R-DAV) that has a high performance as a wheeled mobile robot is presented. The R-DAV is designed to monitor and manage the growing status of bio-energy crops, and the vehicle will be used for image collection, density measurements, and chemical applications. A theoretical model has been proposed to optimize the configuration. The 4-Wheel-Drive-4-Wheel-Steering (4WD4WS) locomotion was proposed as the essential base for high traffic conditions and maneuverability, and a prototype model was fabricated for this scenario. The chassis was uniquely reconfigured in two ways: (1) by adjusting the clearance and (2) by changing the wheel gauge. The reconfiguration of the clearance was necessary to operate the vehicle over a range of heights of bio-energy crops at different growing stages in the Miscanthus (Miscanthus is a genus of about 15 species of perennial grasses native to subtropical and tropical regions of Africa and southern Asia). The adjustable wheel gauge layout was designed to follow variable inter-row tracks in the Miscanthus field. Furthermore, a triangle-shaped guard was specifically considered to minimize the crop damage when the vehicle enters into the field.
Development of the Reconfigurable Data Acquisition Vehicle for Bio-Energy Crop Sensing and Management
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Xiong, Y., Tian, L., Ahamed, T., and Zhao, B. (January 5, 2012). "Development of the Reconfigurable Data Acquisition Vehicle for Bio-Energy Crop Sensing and Management." ASME. J. Mech. Des. January 2012; 134(1): 015001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4004914
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