TerraSmart, headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, is a leading North American solar ground mount engineering, manufacturing, and installation company. In a very competitive marketplace, TerraSmart decided to introduce “Space Rover Technology” to the world of photovoltaic construction by deploying the first fleet of autonomous survey rovers in the U.S. solar market.
Working under contract to Ontario Drive and Gear, PRS provided their system integration and robotic control expertise to assist with the integration of a high capacity drill and generator onto the J5 platform. To meet TerraSmart’s operational goals, PRS developed a high precision RTK-based version of ARIS, allowing the Autonomous Precision Survey Rover (APSR) to autonomously drill survey holes within 2.0 cm of target.
An intuitive, easy to use Android-based Remote Control Station (RCS) was developed allowing the engineering team to load site coordinate files or “missions” for each project site. On-site, an operator utilizes the rugged Android tablet to playback the missions, commanding APSR to autonomously drill pilot holes at each programmed location.
A typical survey crew can locate up to 200 survey stake-out points per day. In its first deployment, each APSR unit was able to locate up to 1300 points per day, dramatically increasing survey speed and accuracy. APSR eliminates human error, saves time, and cuts project construction costs.