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Matsuyama-shi, Japan

Yamakawa M.,Kyoto University | Kohno Y.,Kyoto University | Kondo N.,Kyoto University | Iida M.,Kyoto University | And 3 more authors.
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2010, ASABE 2010 | Year: 2010

Most of mandarin oranges (Citrus Unshu) are manually harvested and sorted sorted based on size, color, shape and internal qualities at cooperative grading facilities in Japan. 80% of the oranges are marketed as fresh fruits. Since higher quality oranges can be given higher prices, it is important to produce high quality fruits and to grade them properly. It is known that fruit quality in each tree is different from place to place because environmental conditions are different even in a same orchard. There are not many researches on this variability from a viewpoint of precision agriculture in Japanese orange production. In this research, the 2-D map and 3-D map were developed in order to create the visualized maps of features on color, size, sugar content, yield, canopy size, and others for optimum tree management by measuring the qualities of the harvested fruits using a mobile citrus fruit grading machine. This machine could travel in citrus orchards and measure appearance and internal qualities of fruits harvested by human in front of citrus trees. 2-D maps can show a relationship between 2 types of data. 3-D map can show the relationships among 3 features. It was observed that 2-D maps were effective for overlaying aerial images and a soil information map and that 3-D maps were effective for tree management changing with complicated environmental conditions. In conclusion, field maps using circles and cylinders were effective for tree management in Japanese agriculture. Source


Kondo N.,Kyoto University | Yata K.,Ehime University | Iida M.,Kyoto University | Shiigi T.,Kyoto University | And 3 more authors.
Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food | Year: 2010

An end-effector was developed for a tomato cluster harvesting robot. This end-effector can harvest not individual fruits but a whole fruit cluster to improve the robot's harvest efficiency. Experiments for harvesting tomato clusters were conducted in a high-density plant training system. According to a harvesting algorithm, the end-effector was able to perform well, even when target peduncle orientations were not given. Although the success rate of harvesting tomato clusters was 50 %, it is considered that this rate would improve if an end-effector is used for the high-wire tomato plant training systems in Dutch systems where the node lengths of plants are long enough to loosely hold the main stems. Source


Kohno Y.,Ehime Research Institute of Agriculture | Ting Y.,China Agricultural University | Kondo N.,Kyoto University | Iida M.,Kyoto University | And 4 more authors.
IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline) | Year: 2010

A mobile grading machine was earlier developed to establish precision citrus fruit production. This machine could travel in citrus orchards and measure appearance and internal qualities of fruit harvested by humans on-site. In addition, it could record harvesting date and fruit locations. It consisted of a mobile mechanism, a differential global positioning system, a fruit conveyor system, two machine vision systems (one for fruit inspection, the other for trees monitoring), a sugar content measurement system using a near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer, and a personal computer for control and database. The color, size, and sugar content of each fruit and leaf color of each tree were measured by the machine vision devices and the NIR inspection system. As fruit features were extracted based on image analysis by the machine vision system, it was observed that the result of size had a correlation with actual citrus size and the result of color was accurately compared with human eyes. However, it was considered that the lighting device positions should be changed for higher quality images, because the edges of the fruit were dark due to radiation angles. This paper reports on moves of the lighting device position and to obtain lower light radiation angles so that the estimate of fruit size could get higher correlation with the actual fruit size. Furthermore, the earlier results of sugar content measurement had a low correlation with the actual brix values because the sensing head of NIR inspection system was pressed to each fruit from the top. The pressing direction was changed to from the side to obtain higher performance of the system. The improvements caused higher correlations of the sensor outputs to the fruit size and sugar content. Source


Kohno Y.,Ehime Research Institute of Agriculture | Kondo N.,Kyoto University | Iida M.,Kyoto University | Kurita M.,SI Seiko Co. | And 4 more authors.
Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food | Year: 2011

A mobile grading machine for citrus fruits has been developed to collect crop information such as fruit yield, diameter, and sugar content of fruits of each tree part. It consists of a mobile mechanism, a differential global positioning system, a fruit conveyer system, a color camera for machine vision, a NIR spectrometer, and a personal computer for control and database. Preliminary field tests were conducted to investigate basic performance of this machine in a mandarin orange orchard. Using the collecting data of fruit yield and diameter and sugar content of fruit, crop information maps of each tree part was made. These maps indicated that each tree part has large variability of yield, size, and sugar content of fruit. Source


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). Source

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