Augmented Fruit Harvesting

William Messner and B. Kliethermes
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-09-20, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, June, 2009


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Abstract
The Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops (CASC) project comprises twelve efforts ranging from the development of autonomous vehicles for navigation through orchards to smart traps for detecting insect infestation to scouting technologies for machine vision for crop load and ripeness evaluation. This technical report documents a design study for the Augmented Fruit Harvest effort of CASC. While this effort is only one of a dozen with CASC, it has the potential to have the greatest economic impact on orchard operations. The primary focus of the augmented fruit harvesting research effort is to identify and develop fruit harvesting solutions that enable growers to reduce their harvesting production cost as well as decrease the amount of fruit damaged during harvest. The largest contributing factor to harvesting production costs is the cost of labor. Therefore, the design philosophy governing our engineering decisions is to determine what designs have the greatest potential of reducing grower’s input costs. Our approach is to develop systems that enable current workers to simply harvest fruit more efficiently as compared to current practices, rather than focusing on replacing the laborer entirely. While considering ways of improving worker efficiency, careful attention is still considered for creating solutions that enable a reduction in fruit damage during harvest. Overall, these two factors were the leading design requirements used in determining conceptual augmented fruit harvesting solutions.

Keywords
Specialty crops, augmented fruit harvesting, assisted fruit harvesting, fruit picking, fruit transport, bin filling, labor cost reduction, harvest efficiency, farm management

Notes
Number of pages: 18

Text Reference
William Messner and B. Kliethermes, "Augmented Fruit Harvesting," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-09-20, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, June, 2009

BibTeX Reference
@techreport{Messner_2009_6383,
   author = "William Messner and B. Kliethermes",
   title = "Augmented Fruit Harvesting",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "June",
   year = "2009",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-09-20",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
}