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CHAP: Cotton-Harvesting Autonomous Platform

Department of Agricultural Science, Clemson University, 240 McAdams Hall, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Building, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Edisto Research and Education Center, 64 Research Road, Blackville, SC 29817, USA
Cotton Incorporated, 6399 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC 27513, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bugao Xu
Received: 5 March 2021 / Revised: 5 April 2021 / Accepted: 6 April 2021 / Published: 9 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Cotton Automation, Machine Vision and Robotics)
The US cotton industry provided over 190,000 jobs and more than $28 billion total economic contributions to the United States in 2012. The US is the third-largest cotton-producing country in the world, following India and China. US cotton producers have been able to stay competitive with countries like India and China by adopting the latest technologies. Despite the success of technology adoption, there are still many challenges, e.g., increased pest resistance, mainly glyphosate resistant weeds, and early indications of bollworm resistance to Bt cotton (genetically modified cotton that contains genes for an insecticide). Commercial small unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) or mobile ground robots with navigation-sensing modality provide a platform to increase farm management efficiency. The platform can be retrofitted with different implements that perform a specific task, e.g., spraying, scouting (having multiple sensors), phenotyping, harvesting, etc. This paper presents a proof-of-concept cotton harvesting robot. The robot was retrofitted with a vacuum-type system with a small storage bin. A single harvesting nozzle was used and positioned based on where most cotton bolls were expected. The idea is to create a simplified system where cotton bolls′ localization was undertaken as a posteriori information, rather than a real-time cotton boll detection. Performance evaluation for the cotton harvesting was performed in terms of how effective the harvester suctions the cotton bolls and the effective distance of the suction to the cotton bolls. Preliminary results on field test showed an average of 57.4% success rate in harvesting locks about 12 mm from the harvester nozzle. The results showed that 40.7% was harvested on Row A while 74.1% in Row B for the two-row test. Although both results were promising, further improvements are needed in the design of the harvesting module to make it suitable for farm applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: ROS; cotton; mobile robot; UGV; selective harvesting ROS; cotton; mobile robot; UGV; selective harvesting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maja, J.M.; Polak, M.; Burce, M.E.; Barnes, E. CHAP: Cotton-Harvesting Autonomous Platform. AgriEngineering 2021, 3, 199-217.

AMA Style

Maja JM, Polak M, Burce ME, Barnes E. CHAP: Cotton-Harvesting Autonomous Platform. AgriEngineering. 2021; 3(2):199-217.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maja, Joe M., Matthew Polak, Marlowe E. Burce, and Edward Barnes. 2021. "CHAP: Cotton-Harvesting Autonomous Platform" AgriEngineering 3, no. 2: 199-217.

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