2002 年 36 巻 3 号 p. 163-168
The harvesting operation for eggplants is complicated and accounts for a little less than 40% of the total number of working hours. For automating the harvesting operation, an intelligent robot that can emulate the judgment of human labor is necessary. This study was conducted with a view to developing a robotic harvesting system that performs recognition, approach, and picking tasks. In order to accomplish these tasks, 3 essential components were developed. First, a machine vision algorithm combining a color segment operation and a vertical dividing operation was developed. The algorithm could detect the fruit even under different light conditions. Next, a visual feedback fuzzy control model to actuate a manipulator was designed. The control model enabled the manipulator end to approach the fruit from a distance of 300 mm. Furthermore, an end-effector composed of a fruit-grasping mechanism, a size-judging mechanism, and a peduncle-cutting mechanism was developed. It produced enough force for grasping the fruit and cutting the tough peduncle. Finally, the 3 essential components were functionally combined, and a basic harvesting experiment was conducted in the laboratory to evaluate the performance of the system. The system showed a successful harvesting rate of 62.5%, although the end-effector cut the peduncle at a slightly higher position from the fruit base. The execution time for harvesting of an eggplant was 64.1 s.