Robotic Untangling of Herbs and Salads with Parallel Grippers

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Robotic packaging of fresh leafy produce such
as herbs and salads generally involves picking out a target
mass from a pile or crate of plant material. Typically, for
low-complexity parallel grippers, the weight picked can be
controlled by varying the opening aperture. However, often
individual strands of plant material get entangled with each
other, causing more to be picked out than desired. This paper
presents a simple spread-and-pick approach that significantly
reduces the degree of entanglement in a herb pile when picking.
Compared to the traditional approach of picking from an entanglement-free point in the pile, the proposed approach
results in a decrease of up to 29.06% of the variance in for
separate homogeneous piles of fresh herbs. Moreover, it shows
good generalisation with up to 55.53% decrease in picked
weight variance for herbs previously unseen by the system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2020)
Number of pages6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jun 2020


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