Smart and Innovative Solution for Sustainable Bud Picking

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Neha Pradyumna Bora
Pradyumna Mulchand Bora
Deepali Prashant Pawar


Cotton harvesting in India relies entirely on manual labor, leading to substantial cost increases due to rising labor expenses. To address this challenge, the project proposes the development of a smart cotton-picking machine that aims to significantly boost the daily cotton picking rate compared to manual methods. The project's primary focus is on designing and creating a new machine specifically tailored for efficiently picking cotton bolls. In India, where manual labor dominates cotton harvesting, the available international machines for this task are prohibitively expensive for Indian farmers and are often not suitable for the country's farming conditions. Introducing smart harvester machines would bring a new wave of agricultural technology that could revolutionize cotton harvesting for Indian farmers. A typical harvesting robot comprises a vision-based perception system for object detection and localization, along with a manipulator that positions an end-effector to perform the picking task. Farmers typically use defoliants when about 60% of the cotton bolls are open to facilitate efficient picking. The implementation of smaller robotic harvesting machines opens up the possibility of multiple harvests during the growing season, enabling farmers to pick seed cotton soon after bolls open, thus maintaining fiber quality. These machines are expected to gather mature cotton with minimal waste and without causing significant damage to the plants or unopened bolls.

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