Octinion developed a new robot. It will replace the actual spherical robot. The vehicle itself will be the basis for the spherical as well as the vertical robot. The wheels are designed such that it can drive on the concrete central corridors as well as on the with plastic covered paths in the crop rows and also on rails, which serve most of the time as heating tubes. The robot is equipped with a front suspension to reduce the vibrations induced on the boom, carrying the UV-C lamps. Two separate motors provide traction to the robot and the orientation of the wheels can be changed in order to provide excellent steering capabilities.
The speeds, and consequently the dose that needs to be applied, can be programmed by an interface, developed by CESI. The robot executes them automatically. If needed, the robot can also be controlled manually by a smartphone.
New reflectors are designed to concentrate the UV-C radiation on the plants. These reflectors are equipped with covers. The current lamp technology (TL tubes) has a typical lifetime of 9000h. However, if the lamps are switched on and off too many times, lifetime decreases dramatically. In the same time, the covers are a mechanical protection. Additionally, they provide safety during the warming up phase of the lamps. People in the neighbourhood of the robot will not be exposed to the lamp radiation.