ECHORD++ MARS: Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms

MARS is a one-and-a-half year, comprehensive research project, which integrates industry experience and academic research. The goal of the Fendt engineers and the researchers at the Ulm University of Applied Sciences (HSU) is to transfer robotic technology to farming applications. Fendt is in charge of the development and manufacturing of the robots, the Service Robotics group at the HSU concentrates on researching cloud-based algorithms for path planning and optimisation.

​After successfully completing the multi-year research project MARS (Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms) in collaboration with the Ulm University of Applied Sciences and the EU research funding, AGCO and Fendt decided to develop the robot project up to series-production readiness for the Fendt brand. The entire system, including small robots operating in swarms and a cloud-based system control will now be operated under the product name “XAVER”. 

The MARS project is a very successful example of HSU technology transfer.

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The MARS project uses SmartSoft and the SmartMDSD Toolchain as well as existing SmartSoft components.

Publications and Talks

Timo Blender and Christian Schlegel. Motion Control for Omni-Drive Servicerobots Under Kinematic Dynamic and Shape Constraints. In Proc. of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA), Luxembourg, September 8-11, 2015. PDF

Talk Thiemo Buchner, “MARS – Roboterschwärme auf dem Feld” (German), Robotertag 2016, Hochschule Ulm. Slides

Timo Blender, Thiemo Buchner, Benjamin Fernandez, Benno Pichlmaier and Christian Schlegel,” Managing a Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarm for a Seeding Task,” In Proc. Industrial Electronics Society, IECON 2016 – 42nd Annual Conference of the IEEE, Florence, Italy, October 24-27, 2016. PDF

Project Information

Funding ECHORD++ Experiment Call 1 / Agricultural Robotics
Funding Program EU FP7 Grant Agreement 601116
Duration May 2015 – October 2016
Project Partners AGCO GmbH (Coordinator), Hochschule Ulm
Contact Hochschule Ulm Prof. Dr. Christian Schlegel
General Links
Further Details (German) (English)
Project Page
Videos (Interview) (Project Video)