Welcome to Smart Agriculture

Smart Agriculture ›› 2022, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (3): 42-52.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.SA202206007

• Special Issue--Key Technologies and Equipment for Smart Orchard • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Design and Test of Self-Propelled Orchard Multi-Station Harvesting Equipment

MIAO Youyi1(), CHEN Hong2,3(), CHEN Xiaobing1, TIAN Haoyu2,3, YUAN Dong1   

  1. 1.Nanjing Institute of Agricultural Mechanization, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Nanjing 210014, China
    2.College of Engineering, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
    3.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Equipment in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Wuhan 430070, China
  • Received:2022-06-20 Online:2022-09-30
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0701400)


In order to solve the problems of high labor intensity, low efficiency of manual operation and lack of supporting machinery in the fruit harvesting of modern orchards, a self-propelled orchard multi-station harvesting equipment was designed in combination with the fruit tree dwarf anvil wide-row dense planting mode and agronomic planting requirements. The whole machine structure and working principle of the self-propelled orchard multi-station harvesting equipment were expounded. According to the environmental conditions of mountainous orchards, the crawler chassis structure was designed, and the working speed was 0~2 km/h. The operating platform including left extension platform and right extension platform was designed according to the difference of fruit tree row spacing, and the working width of the operating platform was 1500~2700 mm. In order to improve the working efficiency and ensure the same picking speed of upper and lower operators, the picking operation mode of "two sides, two heights and six stations" was proposed by comparing the difference in the working flexibility between the operator on the platform and the operator on the ground during the operation of the machine, and the in-and-out channels of fruit boxes and the automatic collection and packing device were designed. The front and rear unobstructed fruit box access system was composed of the front loading and unloading mechanism, the rear loading and unloading mechanism and the fruit box slide rail, which was convenient for the empty fruit box to enter the fruit loading station of the working platform from the front and unloading from the rear after the fruit was filled. Six sub-conveyor belts were designed to handle apples harvested by six non interacting operators at the same time. The prototype was test in the field, and the packing uniform distribution coefficient calculation method was proposed to evaluate the uniformity of fruit packing, and the performance of the prototype was comprehensively evaluated in combination with the fruit damage rate and packing speed. The results showed that, the designed self-propelled orchard multi-station harvesting equipment could synchronize with the six stations manual harvesting speed. At the same time, with the help of the expansion platform, the apple picking range covered the entire canopy of the fruit tree. The prototype worked smoothly, and the speed of each conveyor belt was in good coordination with manual picking, and there was no apple congestion occurred. The apple harvest damage rate was 4.67%, the packing uniform distribution coefficient was 1.475, and the packing speed was 72.9 apples per minute, which could meet the requirements of orchard harvest operation.

Key words: crawler chassis, extended working platform, automatic conveyor packing, packing uniformity factor, harvest damage rate, transfer system

CLC Number: