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Latest News

Getting smart about greenhouse irrigation
Posted Jan 10, 2020
Floraldaily.com For Canada’s greenhouse operators, crop irrigation and finding experienced growers to manage it, are among their greatest challenges. To overcome this hurdle, Vineland’s robotics and automation team together with their European partner, LetsGrow, have been busy developing technologies to help greenhouse operators optimize how and when to water plants. Read more

Upcoming Events

Feb 19, 2020 to Feb 20, 2020
Vineland’s Consumer Insights team offers a wide range of services to help with your next product launch. Come and visit them at booth #507, February 19-20, 2020.  For more information about the event, please visit their website.

Latest Media Release

Posted Jan 7, 2020
New findings from an ongoing study at Vineland show that propagation trays play a vital role in tree health. A recent dig of two-year-old trees found that the RootSmart propagation system, included in the study, consistently produced healthier root systems, including fewer total root defects and better root distribution. Read more

Latest Reports

Pneumatic hyperelastic actuators for grasping curved organic objects

November, 2019

Actuators, 2019, 8(4), 76
The article can be viewed here  

Abstract: Galley, A., Knopf, G.K and M. Kashkoush. Soft robotic grippers often incorporate pneumatically-driven actuators that can elastically deform to grasp delicate, curved organic objects with minimal surface damage. The complexity of the actuator geometry and the nonlinear stress–strain behavior of the stretchable material during inflation make it difficult to predict actuator performance prior to prototype fabrication. In this work, a scalable modular elastic air-driven actuator made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is developed for a mechanically compliant robotic gripper that grasps individual horticultural plants and fungi during automated harvesting. The key geometric design parameters include the expandable surface area and wall thickness of the deformable structure used to make contact with the target object. The impact of these parameters on actuator displacement is initially explored through simulation using the Mooney–Rivlin model of hyperelastic materials. In addition, several actuator prototypes with varying expandable wall thicknesses are fabricated using a multistep soft-lithography molding process and are inserted in a closed ring assembly for experimental testing. The gripper performance is evaluated in terms of contact force, contact area with the target, and maximum payload before slippage. The viability of the gripper with PDMS actuators for horticultural harvesting applications is illustrated by gently grasping a variety of mushroom caps.

Latest Innovation Report

The 2019-2020 Innovation Report

October, 2019

Features

  • A new breed of company
  • Apple buds and taste buds
  • Seeking some hungry predators
  • Vineland makes expertise available to industry
  • Carving a path to commercialization
  • Vineland's Automation Cluster seeds a homegrown industry
  • Vineland is bringing smart mushroom harvesting within reach
  • Getting smart about greenhouse irrigation: using artificial intelligence to guide watering decisions in Canada's greenhouses
  • An automated workforce to harvest Canada's greenhouse cucumbers

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