Outline of Research

Project Title

160a0:Robotic farming for large-scale agriculture

Project Leader

Katsuhiko Tamaki


This project aims to realize fully robot-operated farming from tillage to harvest in large-scale agriculture such as cultivation of rice, wheat, soybean, and vegetable. For this purpose, we focus on four areas of research:

  • Advancing operability and safety of robots under development such as the tractor robot, transplanting robot, and combine harvester robot.
  • Evaluating safety of robot-operated farming and planning guidelines for safe robotic field-operation systems.
  • Standardizing communication and control network interfaces based on CAN for agricultural robots and implementing this interface to such robots for improving their reliability and profitability.
  • Demonstrating human–robot cooperative operation on fields. Evaluating effectiveness of the robotic system and clarifying its requirements.


The developed transplanting robot can perform transplanting and fertilizer application and herbicide application simultaneously


The rapid aging of farm workers and depopulation of farming communities are currently becoming a major concern. This issue can be solved using robotic farm operation to perform farm operation accuraTely, at the right time, and using limited operators. Such operation allows one operator to control multiple vehicles. One of the goals of this project is to realize a fully robotized field operation system (tillage, planting, harvesting etc. ) in rice production. As a step towards that goal, we have developed a rice transplanting robot that can simultaneously perform transplanting, fertilizing and herbicide applicating.


The developed robot can transplant rice seedlings autonomously. Steering and accelerator are controlled by an on-board computer with reference to high accurate RTK-GPS and an inertial measurement unit. The robot equipped with a fertilizer hopper, herbicide applicator and a long-mat rice seedlings can process 0.3 ha rice field include head land in 50 minutes. The developed control system including sensors, also have been applied to another tractor robot and combine harvester robots.