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Agricultural Engineers Design Early Step for Robotic, Green-Fruit Thinning

Researcher Magni Hussain links the end-effector he and his colleagues developed with a robotic manipulator.

Credit: Pennsylvania State University

Agricultural engineers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have created a prototype end-effector that can remove unwanted apples from trees as a first step toward robotic, green-fruit thinning.

Penn State's Magni Hussain constructed a stem-cutting end-effector joined to a manipulator, showing the potential of a robotic green-fruit system to remove fruit from different tree locations and positions.

The researchers said the success rates of green-fruit thinning for all end-effector-prototype experiments topped 90%.

Penn State's Long He said, "Eventually—in the next decade, we hope—this end-effector will be combined with a machine vision component and a locomotion system, creating a mechanism that eventually will be able to accomplish robotic green-fruit thinning in apple orchards."

From Penn State News
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