Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN

Takaishi, Japan

Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN

Takaishi, Japan
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Hayashi S.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Yamamoto S.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Shigematsu K.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Kobayashi K.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | And 3 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

An elevated-substrate culture for strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) has recently become popular in Japan, since its use prevents improper working posture of workers and helps in obtaining high yields. In this culture, fruits hang down from an elevated structure, and humans can harvest the fruits with greater efficiency while standing. The elevated-substrate culture is advantageous when the robot harvests the strawberries because the fruits are separated from leaves. Several types of robots for harvesting strawberries have been developed in previous studies. While these studies have described the basic design of robot systems, they have not collected and discussed the performance data throughout the cropping season. In this study, we have developed a movable-type harvesting robot, which can move back and forth along a rail and harvest fruits on both its sides. This robot consists of a cylindrical manipulator, an end-effector, a machine vision unit, a tray storage unit, and a travelling unit. The machine vision algorithm for detecting the peduncle was substantially modified to provide sufficient information in order to equip the robot with better intelligence. Basic performance tests were conducted throughout the cropping season (from December 2007 to May 2008).


Yamamoto S.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Hayashi S.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Yoshida H.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Kobayashi K.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN | Shigematsu K.,Institute of Agricultural Machinery BRAIN
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2011

We constructed a stationary robotic strawberry harvester consisting of an end-effector, a manipulator with seven degrees of freedom of motion, and an artificial visual system for target fruit identification. We tested the stationary robot in an experimental harvesting system in which we combined the robot with a movable bench unit. We examined the performance in 50 beds (each 1 m), each of which contained 10 strawberry plants. The system achieved a success rate of harvesting mature fruit of 67.1%, derived from a 89.0% success rate in detecting fruit position, 83.4% success rate in judging fruit coloration, and 90.3% success rate in picking targeted fruit. The rate of damage to harvested fruit was 12.5% and the rate of simultaneously picking non-targeted fruit in error was 13.9%. The average processing time per bed was 126.7 s at an average of 2.3 mature fruits per bed.

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