ANTON: Autonomous navigation for tracked compost turners

The project ANTON aims to automate composting by means of satellite-based navigation technologies (GNSS). In the course of this project, a navigation module as well as a control module for a driverless, electrically driven compost turner will be developed and tested.

A fundamental task during the process of composting is turning the biogenic material with machines. Currently, this is conducted and monitored by an operator inside the driver’s cab of a diesel-driven compost turner or conventional loader. Due to low driving speeds of compost turners (approx. 50 to 300 m/h), high ambient temperatures, released gases, and bad smell during compost turning, the operator is exposed to very unpleasant conditions.

The aim of the project ANTON is to develop a robust and reliable navigation module as well as a control architecture for autonomous, tracked compost turners and to test the developed prototype on a composting facility. It should be evaluated whether an autonomous compost turner yields a more efficient workflow compared to a manually operated vehicle.

The primary innovation is determining a highly precise and robust position of the compost turner under the so far non-tested surrounding conditions.

The use of GNSS-RTK (real-time kinematics) allows to determine a cm-level accurate position in real-time. To increase the robustness of the system, the GNSS-based position is fused with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers in an Extended Kalman Filter. By mounting two GNSS antennas and image-based sensors on the compost turner, the orientation of the machine shall be determined with high accuracy.


Logo of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency.
This project is funded by the Austrian Promotion Agency (FFG) within the programme line "ASAP".


Eva M. Reitbauer
Steyrergasse 30/II
8010 Graz
Tel: +43/316/873-6833
Fax: +43/316/873-8888
Manfred Wieser
Steyrergasse 30/III
8010 Graz
Tel: +43/316/873-6348
Fax: +43/316/873-8888