At present, tea harvest requires a great deal of manual labor. As with many industries requiring repetitive actions, there is a desire to automate this process and remove the need for human laborers. Our project seeks a solution to this problem by developing a robot that harvests the valuable parts of tea leaves.
The robot consists of two main subcomponents: a vision component and a mechatronics component. The vision component requires the ability to view the plant through a camera lens and locate the desired part of the plant as well as localize its position relative to the camera. The mechatronics component requires a mechanical arm receiving information telling it where to reach in order to extract the leaf. We then integrate these two subcomponents to create a robot that can perceive and interact with its environment.
Given that this is a challenging open question in research, we seek to provide a modest starting point for a solution. There is still much work to be done after our project in order to make the robot truly mobile and capable for field use. Nonetheless, we hope to establish a basis in which we combine vision and mechatronics to accomplish our task.