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Tree-Climbing Robot Can Safely Harvest Coconuts

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The Amaran robot in action.

Researchers in India have designed a robot that could reduce the need for human harvesters to climb trees roughly 15 meters (50 feet) tall to hack off a bunch of coconuts.

Credit: HuT Labs

Researchers at India's Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University have designed a robot to safely harvest coconuts.

The tree-climbing Amaran robot has a ring-shaped body that clasps around trees of varying diameter, and features a control module, motor drivers, a power management unit, and a wireless communications interface.

The robot moves up and down a tree and rotates around the trunk with eight wheels, while an operator on the ground controls its movements via an application or joystick.

On reaching a bunch of coconuts, an attached controller unit wields a robotic arm with 4 degrees of freedom to snip the bunch; if Amaran's main battery dies, a backup unit helps the robot return to ground.

The university's Rajesh Kannan Megalingam said the Amaran robot reduces risk to human life, and can be controlled by anyone regardless of skill.

From IEEE Spectrum
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