Modular autonomous strawberry-picking robotic system

Parsa, Soran, Debnath, Bappaditya, Khan, Muhammad Arshad and Ghalamzan Esfahani, Amir (2023) Modular autonomous strawberry-picking robotic system. Journal of Field Robotics . ISSN 1556-4959

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Modular autonomous strawberry-picking robotic system
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Modular autonomous strawberry-picking robotic system
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Challenges in strawberry picking made selective harvesting robotic technology very demanding. However, the elective harvesting of strawberries is a complicated robotic task forming a few scientific research questions. Most available solutions only deal with a specific picking scenario, for example, picking only a single variety of fruit in isolation. Nonetheless, most economically viable (e.g., high‐yielding and/or disease‐resistant) varieties of strawberry are grown in dense clusters. The current perception technology in such use cases is inefficient. In this work, we developed a novel system capable of harvesting strawberries with several unique features. These features allow the system to deal with very complex picking scenarios, for example, dense clusters. Our concept of a modular system makes our system reconfigurable to adapt to different picking scenarios. We designed, manufactured, and tested a patented picking head with 2.5‐degrees of freedom (two independent mechanisms and one dependent cutting system) capable of removing possible occlusions and harvesting the targeted strawberry without any contact with the fruit flesh to avoid damage and bruising. In addition, we developed a novel perception system to localize strawberries and detect their key points, picking points, and determine their ripeness. For this purpose, we introduced two new data sets. Finally, we tested the system in a commercial strawberry growing field and our research farm with three different strawberry varieties. The results show the effectiveness and reliability of the proposed system. The designed picking head was able to remove occlusions and harvest strawberries effectively. The perception system was able to detect and determine the ripeness of strawberries with 95% accuracy. In total, the system was able to harvest 87% of all detected strawberries with a success rate of 83% for all pluckable fruits. We also discuss a series of open research questions in the discussion section.

Keywords:Robotics, agricultural engineering
Subjects:H Engineering > H671 Robotics
Divisions:COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE > Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology
ID Code:56100
Deposited On:11 Sep 2023 08:16

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