Lidar-powered garden care solves massive downside for utilities




Renu Robotics

How do you cease weeds from overtaking that multi-million greenback photo voltaic facility? Due to a confluence of sensor developments and automation applied sciences, the reply is to name within the robots.

The issue is a giant one, the form of logistical pressure that lives within the seams of enterprises and would not get a lot consideration. Renewable vitality utilities like photo voltaic and wind farms cowl huge footprints and infrequently exist in wild locations the place weeds and different vegetation grows naturally. Unchecked, that vegetation may cause huge infrastructure issues. However hiring folks to deal with the weeds is each costly and probably perilous.

An organization known as Renu Robotics has developed a singular robotic mower for utility grounds administration. The corporate has simply introduced a multi-year settlement with lidar developer Velodyne Lidar, Inc., which makes a small sensor, known as the Puck, that can be utilized for autonomous navigation methods.

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Robotics within the enterprise

Robots have moved off the meeting line and into warehouses, places of work, hospitals, retail outlets, and even our properties. ZDNet explores how the explosive progress in robotics is affecting particular industries, like healthcare and logistics, and the enterprise extra broadly on points like hiring and office security.

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“Velodyne’s Puck sensors present a vital ingredient for our robotic autonomy and navigation,” mentioned Michael Blanton, Renu’s Chief Technical Officer. “The ability-efficient sensors allow the Renubot to ship an automatic vegetation administration system that’s repetitive and dependable to maintain services working at peak efficiency whereas controlling prices.”

It is a good illustration of the confluence occurring between sensor improvement, autonomous methods, and renewable vitality utilities, which, as I’ve coated, appear particularly eager to undertake automation applied sciences for infrastructure inspection and upkeep duties.

“With its subtle, sustainable-to-operate autonomous mower, Renu Robotics is revolutionizing the best way photo voltaic and vitality firms conduct vegetation administration,” mentioned Laura Wrisley, VP of North America Gross sales, Velodyne Lidar. “The modern Renubot demonstrates how Puck sensors energy precision and security in autonomous automobiles, working with out human intervention. Renu Robotics is a first-rate instance of Velodyne delivering on its mission to enhance security and sustainability in communities worldwide.”

The corporate’s robotic, known as the Renubot, makes use of Puck sensors for secure, environment friendly, high-precision navigation and to keep away from obstacles when conducting utility-scale vegetation administration. The mower makes use of the lidar to navigate the positioning and real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS correction, enabling automobile positional accuracy inside 2cm. Renubot is an effective instance of small-form-factor autonomous robots of a sort we’re seeing extra of. It leverages synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying for autonomous command and management, and to be taught and assess the topography because it conducts extremely exact mowing and grooming of facility grounds.¬†