December 15, 2016 |by Alyssa Patrick, Office of Research
Biological Systems Engineering is among the recipients from the Commercialization Gap Fund (CGF) at Washington State University. Abhisesh Silwal is a PhD student advised by Dr. Manoj Karkee. [read full article in WSU news]
From robots that pick apples to drones that scout pests over cherry orchards, technology is changing agriculture. Advances like these, and many more, will be shared at an upcoming international conference organized by Washington State University scientists. » More ...
For his research as a Ph.D. student of Biological Systems Engineering at WSU, Suraj Amatya, a Ph.D. graduate in 2015, recently received second place in an international competition at the ASABE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. He received the Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award. List of winners
July 16, 2015 WSU News | By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities
RICHLAND, Wash. – Between 15-18 billion apples are harvested every year in Washington state for fresh market consumption, but often farmers can’t find enough people to pick the fruit.
Many agencies have tried to create a device that will help with the picking process – a machine that is both gentle enough and picks fast enough to make it economically viable for commercial use – but have been unable to do so.
Engineers and scientists at Washington State University Tri-Cities and the WSU Center for Precision and Automatic Agricultural Systems (CPAAS) are creating a practically adoptable robot that will pick apples as efficiently as people.
Feb 2015 | The rise of the apple picking robot, by David Kroman
Three out of five apples in the United States come from Washington. That’s 10-12 billion apples if you’re doing the math – enough to wrap around the earth 29 times. The $2.25 billion earned in 2012 was nearly double the revenue of wheat, the state’s second most lucrative crop. The 100 million crates totaled 4 billion pounds of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Cameo. The amazing thing is that every apple in Washington, in fact every apple worldwide, is hand-picked. Researchers at Washington State University are working to change that.
Feb 2015 | The State Of Mechanical Apple Harvesting, by Richard Jones
The era of fully automated robotic harvesters navigating orchard rows is still years away. But as we head into the 2015 season, there have been some really impressive developments in orchard mechanization, some of which are available to growers this season.
Washington State University assistant professor Manoj Karkee is part of another team working on robotics, but with a bit of human-machine collaboration.
“We’re working on techniques where people can help the robotics a little to make the technology more adaptable and affordable,” Kankee says.
A slight breeze comes from the north, but it’s not enough to stir the sun-faded windsock above the tarmac near Mann Lake in Lewiston, Idaho. The sudden and unexpected gusts of wind, however, do. It’s a brisk 48 degrees, but of more concern is the smeared cloud taking up the southwestern horizon, out of place among its more defined, cumulus neighbors mottling the blue canvas above.
“We have about ten minutes,” says Chris Chaney, who earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from WSU this year. “We’re going to have to time this right. This is probably one of the most dangerous flights we’ve done.”
WSU News | Manoj Karkee and his team of WSU scientists recently won a $548,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to develop tree fruit harvesting technology where robots and humans work side by side. More…