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FieldRobot 2015 - GroundBreaker

Robot GroundBreaker took part in Field Robot Event 2015 in Slovenia, Maribor, June 2015.

The team achieved 9th position in Task 1 with a robust but relatively slow drive, 11th position in Task 2 and 6th position in Task 3. The GroundBreaker won the Task 4 which was freestyle, with the automatic soil sampling system that also measured soil properties online. 18 teams participated on Field Robot Event 2015.

Team members

The team consists of nine students, some of which are studying Automation and Systems Technology (AS) or Mechanical Engineering (ME) at Aalto University and students studying Agrotechnology at Helsinki University (AG). The team also includes two instructors.

  • Tuomas Ruotsalainen (AS, captain)
  • Jaakko Laine (AS, vice-captain)
  • Jussi Linko (AS)
  • Juuso Autiosalo (ME)
  • Alexander Brink (ME)
  • Teemu Koitto (ME)
  • Juho Kalliomäki (AG)
  • Kimmo Kankare (AG)
  • Eemeli Saarelma (AG)

The instructors: Timo Oksanen (AS & AG), Jari Kostamo (ME)

Poster (early version)

Final Report

FinalReport_GroundBreaker.pdf pdf


Task 1

In Task 1, GroundBreaker was driving slowly as the robustness and autonomous drive was given more weight in the design than maximizing the speed and resulting clumsy behaviour. The tactics did not favour GroundBreaker in the scores as the result was 9th (out of 18th). See the whole drive in following video clip

Task 2

In Task 2, the increased difficulty was to navigate multiple rows and detect the obstacle. GroundBreaker used the same speed as in Task 1, so it was not possible to cover the whole field in given 3 min time, so points were lost. In the beginning something happened but after power cycling the behaviour was nice. Due to short distance, the team was awarded 11th position in this task.

Task 3

Task 3 was driven in the same field as Task 2 a day earlier. Now the navigation task was simple: scan the field and detect brown maize (corn) plants while driving. This time more speed was enabled as there was time to practise that before the Task started. Unfortunately, the machine vision system of the robot did not detect any brown plants, but did not alarm any fault positives neither. One of the additional requirements of this task was to make a map of the field including the brown plants, and in this task the robot was able to produce a map which added some points to the scores. In this task the result was 6th. See the video:

In overall competition (Tasks 1-3 counted together), GroundBreaker was given 8th place (out of 18 competititors).

Task 4 (freestyle)

GroundBreaker won this Task! The goal was to present what the beneficial for a farmer the robot can do and Finnish team had prepared an intelligent trailer for this task, that was capable of measuring soil. The trailer had two functions: measuring the cone index with an automatized penetrometer and collecting soil samples to buckets. The trailer commands the robot in ISOBUS TIM manner, by commanding the speed of the pulling robot. See the Freestyle demonstration in the following video clip:


From left: Jussi Linko, Juho Kalliomäki, Tuomas Ruotsalainen, Kimmo Kankare, Jaakko Laine, Teemu Koitto, Juuso Autiosalo and Eemeli Saarelma. Ninth team member, Alexander Brink not in the photo.


Building of the robot and participation to the competition in Slovenia was possible thanks to our sponsors:

AGCO (Challenger, Fendt, Massey Ferguson and Valtra Tractors & Farm Equipment), Laserle Oy, Junkkari Oy, Koneviesti, Suonentieto, SICK, Linak, Henry Fordin säätiö, Maatalouskoneiden tutkimussäätiö; and Aalto University and University of Helsinki