Autonomous Mechanical Thinning Using Scanning LIDAR

Matthew Aasted, Reuben J. Dise, Tara Auxt Baugher, James R Schupp, Paul H Heinemann, and Sanjiv Singh
2011 ASABE Annual International Meeting, July, 2011.


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Abstract
Hand thinning is a labor-intensive and expensive peach production practice. Mechanical thinning has been shown to be an economical method of reducing thinning cost. However, current mechanical thinning systems applied to perpendicular V systems require the operator to constantly steer the tractor to maintain engagement. This paper presents a system using a LIDAR to sense the canopy and automatically control the position of a modified Darwin string thinner position to maintain engagement. We demonstrate that the automated system is approximately as good as a human at maintaining canopy engagement by presenting blossom removal counts, and suggest that this may be an economically viable method of augmenting mechanical thinning.

Keywords
Automation, Mechanical Thinning, LIDAR.

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Project(s): Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops
Number of pages: 10

Text Reference
Matthew Aasted, Reuben J. Dise, Tara Auxt Baugher, James R Schupp, Paul H Heinemann, and Sanjiv Singh, "Autonomous Mechanical Thinning Using Scanning LIDAR ," 2011 ASABE Annual International Meeting, July, 2011.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Aasted_2011_6888,
   author = "Matthew Aasted and Reuben J Dise and Tara Auxt Baugher and James R Schupp and Paul H Heinemann and Sanjiv Singh",
   title = "Autonomous Mechanical Thinning Using Scanning LIDAR ",
   booktitle = "2011 ASABE Annual International Meeting",
   month = "July",
   year = "2011",
}