Matsuyama-shi, Japan
Matsuyama-shi, Japan

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Hayashi S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Yamamoto S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Saito S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Ochiai Y.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | And 3 more authors.
Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly | Year: 2014

This paper describes the development of a movable strawberry-harvesting robot that can be mounted on a travel platform, along with its practical operation in a greenhouse. The harvesting robot can traverse and enter an adjacent path and picking is performed with the travel platform halted on the travel path. Machine vision is used to detect a piece of red fruit and calculate its position in the three-dimensional space, whereupon its maturity level is assessed according to an area ratio determined by classifying the whole fruit into three areas: ripe, intermediate, and unripe area fractions. Sufficiently mature fruit are picked by the end-effector by cutting the peduncle. During operational tests in a greenhouse, our machine vision algorithm to assess maturity level showed a coefficient of determination of 0.84. Setting the maturity level parameter at 70 or 80% resulted in higher shippable fruit rates than the setting of 60%, because small unripe fruit positioned in front of larger ripe fruit were successfully skipped in the former case. Our results showed that a higher shippable fruit rate could be achieved later in the harvest season, reaching 97.3% in the test in June. The successful harvesting rate and work efficiency were 54.9% and 102.5 m h-1, respectively.


Hayashi S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Yamamoto S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Saito S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Ochiai Y.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | And 2 more authors.
IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline) | Year: 2013

A circulating-type movable bench system was installed in a research greenhouse in Miyagi Prefecture. The system is 13.5 m long and 7.7 m wide, and chiefly comprises two longitudinal conveying units, two lateral conveying units, two nutrient supply units, a chemical sprayer, 52 planting benches, and a control unit. The cycle times for each speed mode of lateral convey mode were 44.5 s at low speed, 28.8 s at medium speed, and 23.8 s at high speed. The waiting time can be shortened in high speed mode. A prototype of a plant growth measurement system was then developed in a laboratory to estimate plant height and width using a motion control sensor to capture an RGB image and depth image when the bench passed it. Our results suggest fixed-position observation using the movable bench system to be feasible, although further work will be needed to clarify the accuracy of measurement and the relationship between analysed image data and plant condition. Copyright © 2013 IFAC.


Hayashi S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Yamamoto S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Tsubota S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Ochiai Y.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Berry Research | Year: 2014

This paper describes a strawberry-harvesting robot, a packing robot, and a movable bench system. The harvesting and packing operations in strawberry production require harder, more time-consuming work compared to other operations such as transplanting and chemical spraying, making automation of these tasks desirable. Since harvesting and packing operation account for half of total working hours, automation of these tasks are strongly desired. First of all, based on the findings of many studies on strawberry-harvesting robots for soil culture and elevated substrate culture, our institute of the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution and Shibuya Seiki developed a commercial model of a strawberry-harvesting robot, which is chiefly composed a cylindrical manipulator, machine vision, an end-effector, and traveling platform. The results showed an average 54.9% harvesting success rate, 8.6 s cycle time of picking operation, and 102.5 m/h work efficiency in hanging-type growing beds in an experimental greenhouse. Secondly, a prototype automatic packing robot consisting of a supply unit and a packing unit was developed. The supply unit picks up strawberries from a harvesting container, and the packing unit sucks each fruit from calyx side and locates its orientation into a tray. Performance testing showed that automatic packing had a task success rate of 97.3%, with a process time per fruit of 7.3 s. Thirdly, a movable bench system was developed, which makes planting beds rotate in longitudinal and lateral ways. This system brought high density production and labour saving operation at a fixed position, such as crop maintenance and harvesting. By setting up the main body of a strawberry-harvesting robot on working space, unmanned operation technique was developed and tested in an experimental greenhouse. Field experiments of these new automation technologies were conducted and gave a potential of practical use. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Hayashi S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Yamamoto S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Saito S.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Ochiai Y.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | And 2 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami destroyed a strawberryproducing district in Miyagi Prefecture in 2011. Of 98.6 ha of small polytunnels located along the sea front, 94 ha were destroyed by the tsunami. A demonstration greenhouse has been built in Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture to show new strawberry production techniques as a part of the reconstruction project, within which the Biooriented Technology Research Advancement Institution (BRAIN) has installed a circulating-type movable bench system. The system is 13.5 m long and 7.7 m wide, and chiefly comprises two longitudinal conveying units, two lateral conveying units, two nutrient supply units, a chemical sprayer, 52 planting benches, and a control unit, providing high-density cultivation of 50 cm interplant space and 12.5 cm plant distance. The system has three operational modes: working, nutrient solution applying, and chemical spray modes, and enables unmanned operation. The lateral conveying can be selected from three speeds, giving cycle times of 44.5 s at low, 28.8 s at medium, and 23.8 s at high speed. The results indicate that the waiting time can be shortened. The movable bench demonstration system provides farmers affected by the tsunami disaster with information and knowledge on new cultivation techniques.


Rajendra P.,Shibuya Seiki Co. | Mitsutaka K.,Shibuya Seiki Co. | Kazunori N.,Shibuya Seiki Co. | Gosei O.,Shibuya Seiki Co. | Shigehiko H.,Protected Cultivation Engineering Laboratory
2011 IEEE/SICE International Symposium on System Integration, SII 2011 | Year: 2011

A strawberry robot with five degree of freedom was developed. Improvements and developments are based on the past experimental results. In order to avoid the aging of light source and heating of the system LED was used for illumination. However, because of geometrical constrains and inherited characteristics of LED, non uniform illumination exists in the system. Present study compares the impact of illumination intensity correction on the strawberries area detection. Two illumination correction methods are compared in this study, first method is based on the shading reference and second method is based on L*a*b*. Actually, light intensity variation is non linear with the increasing depth, however it becomes almost linear after shading correction. Furthermore strawberry is far from the light source therefore intensity variation on the strawberry surface is a flat curve, it is almost a flat plane. The curvature of strawberry is steep, as strawberry is far from the light source illumination variation after shading is almost negligible. Future study is required to understand the influence of intensity correction on the fruit maturity calculation. © 2011 IEEE.


Momin M.A.,Kyoto University | Kondo N.,Kyoto University | Ogawa Y.,Kyoto University | Ido K.,Kyoto University | Ninomiya K.,Shibuya Seiki Co.
Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food | Year: 2013

Unshu citrus were sorted by fluorescence imaging in a commercial packinghouse and undamaged-appearing unshu that had been rejected by the packinghouse due to fluorescence appearing on their peel were studied. We examined the various visible patterns, based upon fluorescence and microscopic images, to provide a categorization of physical reasons for the observed fluorescence. The categorization classes were: 1) slight physical damage: thin scar, hole and flow, shrunken at calyx; 2) rubbing against decayed fruits; 3) green spots; and 4) rind puffing. The percentage of observation for each of the four classes was 22 %, 15 %, 42 % and 21 %, respectively. Storage of the classes indicated that, except for the green spot class, the injured area expanded quickly and caused the fruits to rot within a week.

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