An Efficient Planning and Control Framework for Pruning Fruit Trees

Publisher:
IEEE
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2020, 00, pp. 3930-3936
Issue Date:
2020-05-01
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Dormant pruning is a major cost component of fresh market tree fruit production, nearly equal in scale to harvesting the fruit. However, relatively little focus has been given to the problem of pruning trees autonomously. In this paper, we introduce a robotic system consisting of an industrial manipulator, an eye-in-hand RGB-D camera configuration, and a custom pneumatic cutter. The system is capable of planning and executing a sequence of cuts while making minimal assumptions about the environment. We leverage a novel planning framework designed for high-throughput operation which builds upon previous work to reduce motion planning time and sequence cut points intelligently. In end-to-end experiments with a set of ten different branch configurations, the system achieved a high success rate in plan execution and a 1.5x speedup in throughput versus a baseline planner, representing a significant step towards the goal of practical implementation of robotic pruning.
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