Teach autonomous robot new routes using “follow” feature

Burro is a versatile, multi-use mobile robot designed to relieve labor challenges and improve operational productivity in the agricultural industry. Burro can perform multiple autonomous tasks, including towing, carrying, following, scouting, and patrolling in support of day-to-day manual work outside in the field or indoors in greenhouses and nurseries.

At the core of all these capabilities is Burro’s patent-pending Pop Up Autonomy™. Pop Up Autonomy means the technology works immediately out of the box and empowers anyone on a job site to be an operator with very little training, regardless of the operating environment.

Follow is fundamental
Burro’s follow mode is a feature made possible by advanced computer vision (cameras) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Computer vision allows a Burro to see and track a single person through a field, greenhouse, or other facility in order to follow or memorize a route. This feature has been refined through experience (and data) gained in traveling +60,000 miles of operation and can distinguish a person from the pathway, plants, and objects in its track.

When in follow mode, Burro will match the speed and path of the person it is trailing. If the person shifts left or right, slows or stops, Burro will do the same, maintaining a set distance from the person leading it. At the push of a button, a user can command Burro to reverse follow, during which Burro will move backwards as the tracked person walks towards it. Afterwards, users are prompted to save the route for future use.

“Burro can simply follow and carry products, parts, or tools from point to point. If it should retrace the path that was taken, it can record as it follows and then retrace the path until told otherwise. This path, or route, can be named, saved, and shared across the fleet for coordinated work,” said Burro’s Chris Thiesen, head of California sales and service. “This connectivity gives farmers and nurserymen access to an immediate army of automated support that can operate for full days without breaks.”

Follow workers everywhere
Burro will reliably and consistently follow a user across paved or rugged paths and through tight field rows.

“For example, if an order of potted plants needs to be collected from multiple areas within a nursery, it’s easy to have Burro follow along from location to location as it’s loaded up. If those plants need to be sent back to a dropoff point, the path can be recorded as it follows along, and the Burro can be sent back to the dropoff point by simply pressing the Reverse button. Now, if that same path is needed at a later date, it can be named and saved, then recalled on the same Burro or any other Burro in the fleet at any time. Collaboratively, Burro and the person working can move along at variable speeds without the need for a person to carry any weight,” explained Thiesen.

For highly repetitive tasks, such as patrolling or security work, a person can train multiple paths for Burro to follow autonomously 24/7. In addition, with Burro Guard Dog™ autonomy enabled, any person detected within Burros field of view triggers an SMS text alert. This alert can be sent to one or multiple numbers and includes a clickable link to view a live feed of the intruder.

Follow the leader
Burro recently achieved the milestone of having traveled 60,000 autonomous miles. The company has hundreds of robots actively deployed around the world in support of farms, greenhouses, and nurseries

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