UAV-Supported Route Planning for UGVs in Semi-Deterministic Agricultural Environments

Dimitrios Katikaridis, Vasileios Moysiadis, Naoum Tsolakis, Patrizia Busato*, Dimitrios Kateris, Simon Pearson, Claus Grøn Sørensen, Dionysis Bochtis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Automated agricultural operations must be planned and organized to reduce risk and failure potential while optimizing productivity and efficiency. However, the diversity of natural outdoor environments and the varied data types and volumes required to represent an agricultural setting comprise critical challenges for the deployment of fully automated agricultural operations. In this regard, this study develops an integrated system for enabling an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) supported route planning system for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in the semi-structured environment of orchards. The research focus is on the underpinning planning system components (i.e., world representation or map generation or perception and path planning). In particular, the system comprises a digital platform that receives as input a geotagged depiction of an orchard, which is obtained by a UAV. The pre-processed data define the agri-field’s tracks that are transformed into a grid-based map capturing accessible areas. The grid map is then used to generate a topological path planning solution. Subsequently, the solution is translated into a sequence of coordinates that define the calculated optimal path for the UGV to traverse. The applicability of the developed system was validated in routing scenarios in a walnuts’ orchard using a UGV. The contribution of the proposed system entails noise reduction techniques for the accurate representation of a semi-deterministic agricultural environment for enabling accuracy in the route planning of utilized automated machinery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1937
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • algorithmic noise reduction
  • automated agricultural operations
  • route planning
  • semi-deterministic agricultural environments
  • unmanned vehicles


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