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Designing and Implementing a Versatile Agricultural Robot: A Vehicle Manipulator System for Efficient Multitasking in Farming Operations
S. Kumar, , V. Skitova
Published in Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Volume: 11
Issue: 8
This paper presents a detailed design of a skid-steering mobile platform with four wheels, along with a Cartesian serial (PPP) manipulator. The aim of this design is to enable the platform to perform various tasks in the agricultural process. The parallel manipulator designed can handle heavy materials in the agricultural field. An experimental robotic harvesting scenario was conducted using parallel manipulator-based end-effectors to handle heavy fruits such as watermelon or muskmelon. The conceptual and component design of the different models was carried out using the Solidworks modeling package. Design specifications and parametric values were utilized during the manufacturing stage. The mobile manipulator was simulated on undulating terrain profiles using ADAMS software. The simulation was analyzed for a duration of 15 s, and graphs depicting the distance, velocity, and acceleration were evaluated over time. Proportional derivative control and proportional derivative-like conventional sliding surface control were applied to the model, and the results were analyzed to assess the error in relation to the input and desired variables. Additionally, a structural analysis was performed to ensure minimal deformation and the highest safety factor for the wheel shaft and L bracket thickness. Throughout the fabrication and prototype development, calibration tests were conducted at various X-, Y-, and Z-axis frame mounting stages. The objective was to minimize the lateral and longitudinal deviation between the parallel linear motion (LM) rails. Once the fabrication and prototype construction was completed, field testing was carried out. All mechanical movements in the lateral and longitudinal directions functioned according to the desired commands given by the Arduino Mega, controlled via a six-channel radio frequency (RF) controller. In the context of agriculture, the grippers utilizing parallel mechanisms were also subjected to testing, demonstrating their ability to handle sizable cylindrical and spherical fruits or vegetables, as well as other relevant objects. © 2023 by the authors.
About the journal
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)