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(left to right) Jong Hoon Kim, S.S. Iyengar, Bharat Narahari and Suman Kumar prepare the AgBot prototype for a demonstration.

Protect Your Home and Maintain Your Lawn With LSU’s Revolutionary AgBot

LSU Robotics Lab develops unique, multi-purpose robot for home use

Anyone who has ever spent a summer afternoon in the backyard spreading fertilizer and planting seeds knows lawn care is back-breaking work. It requires constant maintenance and a significant investment of time and money. But students in LSU’s Department of Computer Science have developed a novel way to take the pain out of the perfect lawn: the fully customizable AgBot.

LSU’s AgBot is a multi-purpose, environmentally-friendly lawn care machine containing a seed dispenser, high-torque auger, fertilizer tank, and remote control capabilities. It is solar-powered and can move as fast as six miles per hour for a minimum time span of four hours. With artificial intelligence, Bluetooth, and advanced GPS systems, the AgBot is a problem-solving robot. In fact, the machine will not rest until it completes its task, whatever that might be.

AgBotThe AgBot is currently a prototype. The finished robot will be equipped with stronger motors and more capabilities.
Video [WMV | :20]
AgBot uses its autonomous, advanced GPS system to plot out the coordinates of your yard and map out its path. Once done, it never has to be repeated unless you move. With a high-tech sensory identification system, there’s no danger of AgBot damaging itself or running into structures in your lawn.

“This is truly a new, revolutionary way to maintain the perfect lawn,” said Bharat Narahari, one of AgBot’s creators. “Its high torque auger with adjustable drill depth and motor speeds takes only 40 seconds per planting.” Also, its fertilizer system is designed to avoid inconsistent dispersal that causes lawn burn.

“In fact, the Agbot is so exceptional that several of these small robots, with support from a human maintenance crew, are perfectly capable of keeping golf courses at their best condition,” said Narahari.

AgBot’s duties change with the setting of the sun. Each night, the robot can take on the duties of an advanced security system paired with the shock value of a raging guard dog. AgBot will protect your home while you sleep comfortably through the night.

AgBot is equipped with a night vision camera positioned atop a 360 degree swivel. It has a high-frequency alarm system and advanced motion detector that allows you to select the level of sensitivity the robot has to movement. If AgBot detects motion, it will immediately sound the alarm, photograph the intruder and even instantaneously e-mail you the picture.

“What is most impressive about this robot is that it is multi-functional, and no one else is currently designing multi-functional robots,” said S.S. Iyengar, chair of the Department of Computer Science at LSU. “Everything, from the software to the mechanical pieces and hardware, was developed by students here at LSU.”

The end goal is for AgBot to be completely customizable, as if buying a computer and selecting the only the desired components versus a package that includes unnecessary options. With minor adjustments, AgBot would be capable of supporting five or six different applications. One such idea is to develop a mailbox function, where the AgBot could pick up UPS or FedEx deliveries that often get left unprotected on doorways.

MEDIA NOTE: The Agbot is currently a prototype. The finished robot will be equipped with stronger motors and more capabilities than this version features. AgBot demonstrations are available upon request. Contact Ashley Berthelot at 225-578-3870 or aberth4@lsu.edu for details.

Ashley Berthelot | Editor | Media Relations
LSU Office of Public Affairs
Fall 2008

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