Coconut is delicious and can be used to produce a variety of products, but picking coconut is not easy. Specially trained pickers must risk their lives, climb trees about 15 meters high and cut down a bunch of coconuts. A team of researchers in India have designed a robot called Amaran, which can reduce the risk of human picking. But can robots do it?
The researchers published a paper in the latest issue of Mechatronics IEEE / ASME transactions describing the testing of tree climbing robots in the laboratory. They compared Amaran's Coconut harvest ability with that of a 50 year old picker. Men are better than robots in overall speed, but robots have better endurance than men.
To climb the coconut tree, Amaran needs to rely on a circular main body, which is closely connected to trees with different diameters. The robot is equipped with control module, motor driver, power management unit and wireless communication interface. Eight wheels allow it to move up and down the tree and rotate around the trunk. Amaran is controlled by people on the ground and uses applications or joystick systems to guide the movement of the robot.
Once Amaran approaches the target, the connected controller unit will wave the robot arm with 4 degrees of freedom to cut the coconut bundle. In addition, there is a safety function. If Amaran's main battery runs out, the standby unit will start to help the robot return to the ground.
Rajesh Kannan megalingam, an assistant professor at amrita Vishwa vidyapeetham University in southern India, said his team had been studying Amaran since 2014. "No two coconut trees in the world are the same. Everyone's size is unique, and the arrangement of coconut bunches and leaves are different." He explained. "Therefore, building a perfect robot is a very challenging task."
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