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FieldRobot 2011 - Cornivore

Robot Cornivore took part in Field Robot Event 2011 in Herning, Denmark from June 30 to July 2. It won the overall competition (placed 1st in Basic and Freestyle tasks and 2nd in Weed-it task). The precision fertilization trailer and related docking station presented in the freestyle task received high regards for their autonomous joint operation, winning the task by a large margin.

Team members

The team consists of eleven students and three instructors. Seven students are from Aalto University studying Automation and Systems Technology (AS) or Mechanical Engineering (MEK). Four students are from University of Helsinki (UH), studying Agrotechnology (AGTEK).

Students ASStudents MEKStudent AGTEKAcademic Instructors
Joonas Ryynänen (C)Tapio LantelaMatti AspilaTimo Oksanen
Perttu HeikkiläZakaria MönkäreVesa LuukkonenJari Kostamo
Ville MatikainenMarkus StorsjöTapio VesterinenPetro Tamminen
Mikko Vihlman Tero Välilä 

Robot tech


  • 4x compact axle modules (two for robot, one for trailer, one spare part)
  • DC drives with LiPo batteries
  • Advanced suspension system
  • Aluminium chassis, mostly laser cut sheet metal parts
  • 2 onboard computers (1x eBox running WinCE + 1x FitPC running WinXP)
  • 15 ATmega microcontrollers onboard (plenty of RS-232/RS-485 connections between them)
  • SICK LMS100 laser scanner
  • SRF04 + GP2D12 ranging sensors in each corner
  • Microsoft webcam on top of mast
  • Compass & attitude sensors
  • Software tools: Matlab, Visual Studio, LabVIEW, CodeVisionAVR, SolidEdge
  • HMI user interface on the robot + remote interface
  • Nice cover design
  • Weight about 20kg

Cornivore at Helsinki in wheat field tests

Final report

Cornivore_FinalReport.pdf pdf


For freestyle task of the competition the team designed a fertilizer spreader trailer attached to the robot. The trailer uses ultrasonic range sensors to detect adjacent maize plants and delivers granular fertilizer next to the plants. When the trailer runs out of fertilizer or battery, the robot-trailer system reverses to a docking station which refills the fertilizer tanks and changes the battery. In normal operation on a maize field the robot controls the trailer, but when the system reverses to the docking station the trailer controls the robot, thereby demonstrating modern agricultural machinery operation.

Cornivore is driving between rows with its smart trailer

Trailer is reversing to the docking station

Freestyle in action

Team Cornivore Sponsors

Building of the robot and participation to the competition in Demark was possible thanks to our sponsors: Yara Finland, Henry Fordin säätiö, Laserle, Junkkari, Koneviesti, VTI Technologies, HP Infotech, Maatalouskoneiden tutkimussäätiö; and Aalto University and University of Helsinki

Full resolution photos for media

Photo 1 Cornivore in maize field

Photo 2 Cornivore with a trailer

Photo 3 Cornivore in Docking station

Photo 4 Team Photo (in front: Tero Välilä, Vesa Luukkonen, Joonas Ryynänen, Markus Storsjö; rear: Timo Oksanen, Petro Tamminen, Matti Aspila, Tapio Vesterinen, Ville Matikainen, Tapio Lantela and Jari Kostamo; missing from photo: Mikko Vihlman, Perttu Heikkilä and Zakaria Mönkäre)

Photo 5 Basic Task (a jury member making notes on the left, Markus Storsjö running behind the robot on the right)