Development of a selective automated blossom thinning system for peaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective of this investigation was to develop and test an automated selective fruit-thinning system for blossom removal in peach tree orchards. The proposed system needed to visualize the tree fruit canopy, discriminate targets (blossoms), mechanically reach the canopy from a stable platform, and remove unwanted targets. The system consisted of kinematic targeting and heuristic programming, a robotic arm, and a pomologically designed end-effector. A quarter-scale robotic arm based on a Fanuc M-16iL manipulator model and rotating brush end-effector were designed and constructed for this study. The normal and tangential force requirements to remove a peach blossom from a shoot were also evaluated. The resultant blossom force tests yielded a range of 0.44 to 0.57 N for the normal force and 0.49 to 0.71 N for the tangential force. The precision and accuracy of the robotic arm and end-effector placement were then examined. A kinematic positioning test for the robotic arm consisting of 120 repetitions fell within the first standard deviation of a proposed ±2.54 cm precision standard. With a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±8.96%, the robotic arm had a consistent range of-1.26 cm to +1.57 cm vector magnitude per target location. For the end-effector positioning test, the brushes reached the proposed ±2.54 cm target area 100% of the time. The deviation from the target to the center of the brushes was within the first standard deviation with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±10.33%, and the end-effector brushes had a consistent range of-2.97 cm to +3.04 cm per target location. The selective spatial thinning heuristic algorithm was also tested. The heuristic test consisted of a series of branches that varied in length from 10, 15, and 20 cm spanwise across the branch, with three artificial blossoms placed every 5 cm. The end-effector successfully removed the unwanted blossom in each case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1457
Number of pages11
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

deblossoming
robotics
End effectors
Robotic arms
peaches
Robotics
thinning
Brushes
heuristics
kinematics
thinning (plants)
testing
positioning
Fruits
Biomechanical Phenomena
canopy
Fruit
Kinematics
Heuristic programming
tree fruits

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

Cite this

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title = "Development of a selective automated blossom thinning system for peaches",
abstract = "The objective of this investigation was to develop and test an automated selective fruit-thinning system for blossom removal in peach tree orchards. The proposed system needed to visualize the tree fruit canopy, discriminate targets (blossoms), mechanically reach the canopy from a stable platform, and remove unwanted targets. The system consisted of kinematic targeting and heuristic programming, a robotic arm, and a pomologically designed end-effector. A quarter-scale robotic arm based on a Fanuc M-16iL manipulator model and rotating brush end-effector were designed and constructed for this study. The normal and tangential force requirements to remove a peach blossom from a shoot were also evaluated. The resultant blossom force tests yielded a range of 0.44 to 0.57 N for the normal force and 0.49 to 0.71 N for the tangential force. The precision and accuracy of the robotic arm and end-effector placement were then examined. A kinematic positioning test for the robotic arm consisting of 120 repetitions fell within the first standard deviation of a proposed ±2.54 cm precision standard. With a confidence level of 95{\%} and a margin of error of ±8.96{\%}, the robotic arm had a consistent range of-1.26 cm to +1.57 cm vector magnitude per target location. For the end-effector positioning test, the brushes reached the proposed ±2.54 cm target area 100{\%} of the time. The deviation from the target to the center of the brushes was within the first standard deviation with a confidence level of 95{\%} and a margin of error of ±10.33{\%}, and the end-effector brushes had a consistent range of-2.97 cm to +3.04 cm per target location. The selective spatial thinning heuristic algorithm was also tested. The heuristic test consisted of a series of branches that varied in length from 10, 15, and 20 cm spanwise across the branch, with three artificial blossoms placed every 5 cm. The end-effector successfully removed the unwanted blossom in each case.",
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Development of a selective automated blossom thinning system for peaches. / Lyons, David; Heinemann, Paul Heinz; Schupp, James Rawlinson; Baugher, T. A.; Liu, Jude.

In: Transactions of the ASABE, Vol. 58, No. 6, 01.01.2015, p. 1447-1457.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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