Development of an Adaptable Vacuum Based Orange Picking End Effector



A prototypical end effectors was designed to validate its fruit picking performance focusing on picking success rate and crop quality. The end effector model composed of a central vacuum gripper and four articulate vacuum fingers to enable firm and secure grasping for citrus fruits. Slider-crank mechanism finger structures achieved solid contact between vacuum pad and fruit surface. Instead of stem severing, the fruit was removed by the combined geometrical motion of rotation and pulling. The developed end effector model fulfilled its fruit picking performance with 90.8% of removal rate at 90 degrees (± 5˚) of the initial approaching angle producing 6~31.5 N and 0.04~1.03 Nm of the detachment force and torque during field assessments. 


Robotic harvesting, Vacuum gripper, Orange harvesting

Full Text: