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Sensors 2014, 14(7), 11557-11579; doi:10.3390/s140711557

A Proposal for Automatic Fruit Harvesting by Combining a Low Cost Stereovision Camera and a Robotic Arm

Department of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering, Universitat de Lleida, Jaume II, 69, Lleida 25001, Spain
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Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 16 June 2014 / Accepted: 25 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture and Forestry: Sensors, Technologies and Procedures)

Abstract

This paper proposes the development of an automatic fruit harvesting system by combining a low cost stereovision camera and a robotic arm placed in the gripper tool. The stereovision camera is used to estimate the size, distance and position of the fruits whereas the robotic arm is used to mechanically pickup the fruits. The low cost stereovision system has been tested in laboratory conditions with a reference small object, an apple and a pear at 10 different intermediate distances from the camera. The average distance error was from 4% to 5%, and the average diameter error was up to 30% in the case of a small object and in a range from 2% to 6% in the case of a pear and an apple. The stereovision system has been attached to the gripper tool in order to obtain relative distance, orientation and size of the fruit. The harvesting stage requires the initial fruit location, the computation of the inverse kinematics of the robotic arm in order to place the gripper tool in front of the fruit, and a final pickup approach by iteratively adjusting the vertical and horizontal position of the gripper tool in a closed visual loop. The complete system has been tested in controlled laboratory conditions with uniform illumination applied to the fruits. As a future work, this system will be tested and improved in conventional outdoor farming conditions.
Keywords: fruit harvesting; stereovision system; size estimate; distance estimate; position estimate; robotic arm fruit harvesting; stereovision system; size estimate; distance estimate; position estimate; robotic arm
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Font, D.; Pallejà, T.; Tresanchez, M.; Runcan, D.; Moreno, J.; Martínez, D.; Teixidó, M.; Palacín, J. A Proposal for Automatic Fruit Harvesting by Combining a Low Cost Stereovision Camera and a Robotic Arm. Sensors 2014, 14, 11557-11579.

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