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Autonomous Mechanical Thinning Using Scanning LIDAR
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011 1111792.(doi:10.13031/2013.38170)
Authors: Matthew M Aasted, Reuben J Dise, Tara A Baugher, James R Schupp, Paul H Heinemann, Sanjiv Singh
Keywords: Automation, Mechanical Thinning, LIDAR
Hand thinning is a labor-intensive and expensive peach production practice. Mechanical thinning has been shown to be an economical method of reducing thinning cost. However, current mechanical thinning systems applied to perpendicular V systems require the operator to constantly steer the tractor to maintain engagement. This paper presents a system using a LIDAR to sense the canopy and automatically control the position of a modified Darwin string thinner position to maintain engagement. We demonstrate that the automated system is approximately as good as a human at maintaining canopy engagement by presenting blossom removal counts, and suggest that this may be an economically viable method of augmenting mechanical thinning.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)