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Development of the Second Generation of Berry Impact Recording Device

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131615960,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Rui Xu, Changying Li
Keywords:   Sensing system, Blueberry, Machine harvester, Accelerometer, Microcontroller.

Abstract. Blueberry bruising caused by machine harvesting makes the fruit unmarketable and causes great economic losses in the blueberry industry. To understand how blueberries interact with machine harvesters, we previously built a miniature and low-cost sensor prototype, called berry impact recording device (BIRD), to quantitatively measure the impact forces endured by blueberries during the mechanical harvest process. Based on the prior work, this study designed the second generation of BIRD sensor with a size of 18 mm in diameter and weight of 5.26 grams, which reduced the size by 29% and weight by 62% compared to the previous one. The sensing system developed in this study consists of two components: the sensor and PC software. The round circuit board of the sensor is 13.5 mm in diameter, including a tri-axial accelerometer with ±200g sensing range in each axis, one eight-bit microcontroller, one 128 KB memory chip, and other low power electronic components. The sensor board and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery were housed into an 18 mm sphere. Universal Serial Bus (USB) is used to connect the sensor with the computer. The PC software is used to configure the sensor and download the data. The sensor was calibrated using a centrifuge for its accuracy and precision. The size and weight of the new BIRD sensor is more similar to a normal blueberry than the first generation sensor, thus providing more accurate measurement of impacts for blueberries. This sensor can also be used in other small fruits and vegetables in studying their interactions with machine harvesters and package lines.

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