Across the world, the costs of labour are increasing while those for robotic systems are reducing. Apple orchards require a great deal of maintenance throughout the year, including harvesting tasks.
By mechanising and automating the process of harvesting (picking) fruits, it may be possible to reduce costs and increase production and quality. A light, swift, intelligent and efficient robot for harvesting apples was developed, by focusing on three important subsystems, mechanical (gripping and manipulation), vision detection and control. The system is to be mounted on an automated vehicle developed by Thor Tech. Currently, each system is being validated to meet its own specific requirements. Successful indoor testing has validated the concept design, gripping, vision and control systems. With each iteration, each subsystem is being improved.
Personnel - Mr Keenan Granland (PhD student), Mr Hanwen Kang (PhD student), Mr Rhys Newburym (Research Engineer), Mr Hugh Zhou (PhD student), Ms Zijue Chen (PhD student)