AI News, Lightweight robots harvest cucumbers

Lightweight robots harvest cucumbers

In Germany, cucumbers destined for pickle jars are harvested by hand with the aid of 'cucumber flyers' -- farm vehicles with wing-like attachments.

Even in adverse weather, it would need to be capable of first identifying ripe cucumbers and then using its two gripper arms to gently pick and store them.

To this end, cutting-edge control methods equip the robot with tactile perception and enable it to adapt to ambient conditions.

High success rate It is a considerable challenge to design autonomous systems capable of optical and tactile sensing, assessing and evaluating.

It should be possible to use multispectral cameras and intelligent image processing to help locate cucumbers and guide the robot's gripper arms to pluck them.

A special camera system helps ensure that the robot detects and locates approximately 95 percent of cucumbers, an impressive success rate.

In search of human inspiration The IPK project experts are tasked with developing three gripper prototypes: a gripper based on vacuum technology, a set of bionic gripper jaws (Fin Ray®) and a customized 'cucumber hand' based on OpenBionics robot hands.

They are relying on insights acquired during a previous European research project, in which they developed a dual-arm robot control system with efficient task-oriented programming for Workerbot I -- a humanoid robot capable of industrial assembly.

Dr. Dragoljub Surdilovic, a scientist at Fraunhofer IPK, explains: 'The robot can, for example, push leaves to the side using symmetrical or asymmetrical movements, or congruent and incongruent movements.

The researchers' goal is to create an intelligent control system capable of making judgment calls: assigning a certain task to a certain gripper arm, monitoring cucumber picking and dealing with exceptions.

Press Release

In Germany, cucumbers destined for pickle jars are harvested by hand with the aid of “cucumber flyers” – farm vehicles with wing-like attachments.

Even in adverse weather, it would need to be capable of first identifying ripe cucumbers and then using its two gripper arms to gently pick and store them.

To this end, cutting-edge control methods equip the robot with tactile perception and enable it to adapt to ambient conditions.

It should be possible to use multispectral cameras and intelligent image processing to help locate cucumbers and guide the robot’s gripper arms to pluck them.

A special camera system helps ensure that the robot detects and locates approximately 95 percent of cucumbers, an impressive success rate.

The IPK project experts are tasked with developing three gripper prototypes: a gripper based on vacuum technology, a set of bionic gripper jaws (Fin Ray®) and a customized “cucumber hand” based on OpenBionics robot hands.

They are relying on insights acquired during a previous European research project, in which they developed a dual-arm robot control system with efficient task-oriented programming for Workerbot I – a humanoid robot capable of industrial assembly.

Dr. Dragoljub Surdilovic, a scientist at Fraunhofer IPK, explains: “The robot can, for example, push leaves to the side using symmetrical or asymmetrical movements, or congruent and incongruent movements.

As a result, it can automatically change directions on the fly to approach and then grasp a cucumber.” The researchers’ goal is to create an intelligent control system capable of making judgment calls: assigning a certain task to a certain gripper arm, monitoring cucumber picking and dealing with exceptions.

Harvesting robot to save big slice of farming market

With the help of partners across Europe, researchers at Berlin’s Fraunhofer Institute are developing a robot capable of automating complex farming processes – specifically the cucumber harvest.

The only way to save Germany’s cucumber industry – and others like it in the agriculture sector – is to develop a more efficient and economical harvesting method.

in 2017, soaring fruit and vegetable prices (up 21 percent) were responsible for pushing inflation in Germany up to 2.2 percent, the highest figure for four years.

Read more: Robot swans to measure water quality in Singapore So the humble salad and sandwich filler is much more important than first appears, and the types of problem that affect one type of harvest are affecting many others too.

– farm vehicles with wing-like attachments – seasonal workers lie on their stomachs and pick while the vehicle moves through the field.

Read more: Forget door-opening bots, give us robot cockroaches, say boffins The real challenge lies with building an autonomous system capable following the same processes as a human would.

Since late last year, the project’s partners have been conducting additional tests to analyse the potential impact of interference and malfunctions. In November 2017, the results of the CATCH project were announced at agriculture trade fair, Agritechnica.

Not every task performed by robots involves repeating the same simple patterns, especially once robots are taken off the shop floor and put to work in the field.

Often automation can help retain markets – and therefore wider employment opportunities – within national borders, and create new jobs and new opportunities to innovate.

Researchers develop vision-guided robot system for cucumber harvesting

A group of international researchers are developing and testing a lightweight, dual-arm, vision-guided robot for the automated harvesting of cucumbers in Germany.

This is both a labor-intensive and uneconomical operation, and many of Germany’s agricultural regions consequently face an uncertain future—so much so that cucumber farming has already begun relocating to Eastern Europe and India, according to Fraunhofer IPK.

Because of this, the international team of researchers are studying the potential for automated cucumber harvests in the CATCH project, for which they are looking to develop and test a dual-arm robot system consisting of inexpensive lightweight modules.

The TOF 3D camera supplies simultaneously fast acquisition of accurate distances and intensity images of targets, enabling the localization of cucumbers in the coordinate space when color and range information are registered.

The ToF camera provides a depth map and an amplitude image at the resolution of 176 × 144 pixels with 16-bit floating-point precision and maximum frame rate of 54fps, as well as x, y and z coordinates to each pixel in the depth map, according to Dr, Fernandez.

The second system being considered, according to Fernandez, consists of the monochrome version of Prosilica camera, with a custom-made filter wheel and servomotor enabling the accurate positioning of the wheel, which allows interchanging of up to five optical filters.

The key issue, she explained, is the combination of data (color and 3D point cloud or multispectral bands plus 3D point cloud), and the processing algorithms designed to work with these input data.

In fact, the vision system should ensure that the robot detects and locates approximately 95% of cucumbers, with the ultimate goal being the advancement of technology so that the robot picks all the ripe cucumbers to foster growth of new ones.

The team is tasked with developing three gripper prototypes: gripper based on vacuum technology, a set of bionic gripper jaws (Fin Ray®) and a customized "cucumber hand"

The team is learning from previous insights acquired during a European research project in which they developed a dual-arm robot control system with efficient task-oriented programming for Workerbot I – a humanoid robot capable of industrial assembly.

The ultimate goal of the researchers is to create an "intelligent control system capable of making judgment calls: assigning a certain task to a certain gripper arm, monitoring cucumber picking and dealing with exceptions."

Cucumber harvesting robot

Today, labour is the largest cost factor of a modern greenhouse holding. More than 30% of the total production costs are spent on wages for the grower and his ...

An autonomous cucumber harvester

Authors: E.J. van Henten, J. Hemming, B.A.J. van Tuijl, J.G. Kornet, J. Meuleman, J. Bontsema, E.A. van Os The video demonstrates an autonomous cucumber ...

Sortiflex InteGraded Pack Robots

An Autonomous Harvesting Robot for Sweet-pepper in Greenhouses (Fin-Ray end-effector)

This video shows robotic harvesting of sweet-pepper fruits in a commercial Dutch greenhouse in June 2014. Two different types of end-effectors were designed ...

An autonomous robot for de-leafing cucumber plants

Authors: E.J. van Henten, B.A.J. van Tuijl, G.-J. Hoogakker, M.J. van der Weerd, J. Hemming, J.G. Kornet, J. Bontsema In cucumber production, amongst others, ...

Sorting & Packing line for mini-cucumbers - Viscon Fresh Produce

Viscon introduces a revolution in the sorting and packing of mini-cucumbers. The new high-speed packing line includes a vision controlled robotic automation ...

Cucumbers ~ Early Harvesting!

Why do Cucumbers and Tomatoes grow so well in Dutch buckets? Early Cucumber picking ~ 60 days from germinating seeds in my growroom.

Cucumber Farm

This is our new farm we just built and we are quite happy about it.

Alcoa Intrasit Intrasit transport system for cucumbers

Intrasit Container transport system for cucumbers harvesting trolleys piperailtrolleys with containers for cucumbers Intrasit Erntewagens / Rohrbahnwagens mit ...

Horticleaner spray trolley: desinfection, cleaning of hydroponic greenhouses inbetween crop cycles

The Horticleaner spray trolley is used for cleaning and desinfection, or sanitation of hydroponic greenhouses during the crop rotation or greenhouse clean-up in ...