Saxion and The RAAK-MKB Autonomous Agricultural Navigation (AAN) Project

The Problem

There is a growing challenge for food production to be able to sustain a growing global population. Unlike traditional arable farming that relies on heavy machinery, chemical pesticides, and artificial fertilizers, there is a growing momentum for an alternative approach. One that emphasizes the use of lighter and smaller agricultural robots, aiming to reduce soil compaction and eliminate the need for plowing.

In the Netherlands, several agricultural robots are under development, but challenges remain before these robots can be widely utilized.

The Project

The AAN project brings together a research group to develop future-proof methods of food production. Collaborating with six pioneers in the field, Saxion is working on facilitating this research with the focus in this project being on the software needed to enable the robot to drive autonomously, or independently.

For driving, they use the Robot Operating System, which is a framework used worldwide by major robotics companies. The project involves modeling, simulating, and testing the robots, with the developed software already made publicly available as an open source project during development. This approach has the benefits of accelerating the time-to-market for new agricultural robots, contributing to more sustainable and efficient food production practices.

The Solution

Asimovo is one of the pioneers working to accelerate this area of development. In return the group have helped Asimovo ensure we develop the right collaboration solution for these complex projects. Enabling different parties to contribute simultaneously to the same development project.

By hosting the project on the platform a more modular approach to the project was needed. Uploading the world, robot and control components separately, rather than as one large file. This modular approach makes it easier for teams to collaborate and develop simultaneously.


For the full developer case study with step by step coding guidelines for running the project and being able to extract useful functionality please see the Asimovo Gitbook 

The Outcome

The AAN project will be showcased as one of the default projects that Asimovo users can access and try out when they login to the platform.  The advantages of the platform and how it can empower new ways of working and collaborating have led to SURF (a digital services provider for Dutch universities and research institutes) to be interested in integrating Asimovo into its standard offering.

“SURF-Asimovo would really help us to set up new courses and students quickly. A platform like SURF-Asimovo, is a way to easily share software with partners. That really helps us. in not only conveying a message, but also to give them something they can actually work with in the limited time they actually work with us and to learn from it.

Kees van Tefelen, Researcher,
Saxion University of Applied Sciences

Key PArtners
Key tools used


Simulation environment & Scenarios

Navigation control
Project architecture

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