Vegetable transplanting is an important and advantageous practice in vegetables production systems. In recent years, the development of vegetable transplanting tools has increased, as well as the interest for automatic and robotic transplanters. However, at present, the feeding of transplanting machines is often still performed by hand. This paper presents the design, development and testing of a needle gripper and a two-finger gripper for vegetable transplanting. Both grippers were self-designed and tested for picking, lifting and transplanting plug seedlings. Tests have been conducted on fennel (Foeniculum vulgare L.), leek (Allium ampeloprasum L.) chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings to determine the impact that gripper typology might have on the further growth of plants after transplanting. The average success rate of the two-finger gripper in the transplanting experiment was 95% and of the needle gripper 81.75%, respectively. Although neither gripper typology affected the growth of the seedlings after transplanting, several design implications were identified in order to improve the performance of both grippers. Furthermore, the two-finger gripper is more reliable for lettuce and chicory, while the needle gripper requires root plugs with higher firmness and cohesion to prevent shattering.

Design, development and testing of feeding grippers for vegetable plug transplanters

Jorg Oliver;Sportelli Mino
;
Fontanelli Marco;Frasconi Christian;Raffaelli Michele;Fantoni Gualtiero
2021-01-01

Abstract

Vegetable transplanting is an important and advantageous practice in vegetables production systems. In recent years, the development of vegetable transplanting tools has increased, as well as the interest for automatic and robotic transplanters. However, at present, the feeding of transplanting machines is often still performed by hand. This paper presents the design, development and testing of a needle gripper and a two-finger gripper for vegetable transplanting. Both grippers were self-designed and tested for picking, lifting and transplanting plug seedlings. Tests have been conducted on fennel (Foeniculum vulgare L.), leek (Allium ampeloprasum L.) chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings to determine the impact that gripper typology might have on the further growth of plants after transplanting. The average success rate of the two-finger gripper in the transplanting experiment was 95% and of the needle gripper 81.75%, respectively. Although neither gripper typology affected the growth of the seedlings after transplanting, several design implications were identified in order to improve the performance of both grippers. Furthermore, the two-finger gripper is more reliable for lettuce and chicory, while the needle gripper requires root plugs with higher firmness and cohesion to prevent shattering.
2021
Jorg, Oliver; Sportelli, Mino; Fontanelli, Marco; Frasconi, Christian; Raffaelli, Michele; Fantoni, Gualtiero
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1109281
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