Professor Stavros Vougioukas
Strawberry Harvest Aid
Context: Strawberries are the fourth most valuable crop in the United States, and strawberry harvesting is one of the most labor intensive jobs in the field of agriculture. Growers are looking for ways to increase harvesting efficiency and comfort.
Problem: Carrying harvested fruit from the furrow to the unloading station is inefficient and hazardous.
Project Goal: Develop a robotic harvest-aid that will transport strawberry flats from the picker in a furrow to the collection station at the edge of the field, and will return empty flats to the same picker.
Studied harvest process including worker behavior and farm landscape.
Established communication with ultrasonic sensors and implemented closed-loop navigation algorithm.
Sourced components and worked with machinist to complete mechanical design
Special thanks to Tom Bell, Wayne Andrade, and Christopher Wheaton of the BAE Shop staff who helped us with the fabrication of our project.
Engineering showcase and publication in the UC Davis engineering magazine
Continuation of the project
Garren Lewis completed his masters at UC Davis and continued to work on the Strawberry Harvest Aid