Mechanical Engineering Capstone Project
Field Research (Interviews)
Our multidisciplinary engineering team developed an autonomous strawberry harvest-aid robot as part of an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Field Research & Prototyping
Our team began the design process by conducting field research to learn of harvesting procedures and field conditions. We created a plywood prototype to allow the electrical engineering team to develop their navigation control system, while the mechanical engineering team continued to develop the final robot's chassis.
Iterating Upon Our Prototype
We improved three design features of the robot through the testing of our prototype: changing our drive system from a belt to a chain, replacing sheet metal components with precise milled components, and relocating the infrared sensors.
Strawberry Tray Design
I designed the strawberry crate tray and tray suspension. The tray accepts crates of various sizes with quick and easy operation. A configurable, off-the-shelf bungee cord mounting system simplified fabrication and maintenance issues.
Strawberry suspension development
I developed a suspension simulation program through MatLab and inputs gathered from an accelerometer mounted to our robot’s prototype. This allowed me to explore the relationship between the suspension’s dimensions and its performance in a field setting.