Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-2598

Design of a Crop Harvesting End Effector for the Robotic System used in the NASA JSC Biomass Production Chamber 2003-01-2598

This paper describes the design of a light-weight and compact robotic gripper for automated harvesting of crops, including vegetable crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, green onion, radish, and lettuce, growing in biomass production chambers. Because these crops vary significantly in their shape, size and rigidity, the gripper features soft fingertips with embedded grasping force sensor, a two degree-of-freedom (DOF) parallel jaw to facilitate alignment with crop objects to be harvested, and a two-DOF parallel cutting device to ensure complete separation of crop objects from plants during harvesting. A microcontroller system is integrated into the gripper for control of grasping and cutting.


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