Chapter 56 — Robotics in Agriculture and Forestry

An autonomous robot for de-leafing cucumber plants

In cucumber production, amongst other crops, removal of old non-productive leaves in the lower regions of the plant is a time consuming task. Based on the platform of the autonomous cucumber harvester at Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands, a robot for de-leafing cucumber plants was developed. The platform's camera system identifies and locates the main stems of the plants. The gripper is sent to the plant and moved upwards. Leaves encountered during this upward motion are separated from the plant using a thermal cutting device which prevents transmission of viruses from plant to plant. An interesting feature of this machine is that, with slight modifications of software and hardware, two greenhouse operations can be performed.
Elder J. van Henten, Bart A.J. van Tuijl, G. J. Hoogakker, M.J. van der Weerd, Jochen Hemming, J.G. Kornet, Jan Bontsema