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Title:Development of a table-top robot model for thinning of fruit
Author(s):Ou Yang, Fu
Advisor(s):Grift, Tony E.
Department / Program:Engineering Administration
Discipline:Agricultural & Biological Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Blossom Thinning
Robotic Manipulator
Task Planner
Abstract:Specialty crop production contributes significant revenue to agriculture in the United States. To reduce the cost of human labor, a concept of automatic selective thinning was pursued to improve the production of peach, apple and other fruits. In this research, a table-top robot model was developed to prove the concept, with an emphasis on a task planning algorithm. The algorithm moved a custom six-DOF (degree of freedom) manipulator and placed an end-effector at target blossom locations with a feasible posture. A “floating z-axis” method was developed to place the end-effector at targets, and was successfully verified by a three-dimensional artificial branch. This method automatically searched the solution domain and selected a feasible posture using the concept of “minimum effort,” which was judged by the movements from a current posture to potential subsequent postures. To ensure a straight cut-in path from a standby posture to the thinning posture, 20 intermediate postures were assigned automatically along the proceeding direction of the end-effector. The calculation time for single target was approximately 7.7 seconds. Peach was taken as an example in this study and a model tree was built for the verification experiments. Important issues of future development and deployment were identified, including the requirements of all subsystems, adaption of orchard systems, and other technology improvements.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Fu Ou Yang
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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