Date of Original Version

11-2000

Type

Technical Report

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

The nursery industry faces an impending crisis due to lack of labor resources. A majority of the manual labor in container nurseries involves moving containers from the field to other locations and back. Typically 3-4 laborers team up to load the containers onto trailers and then drive them to the required destination where they are unloaded. The Trident system was designed to automate some aspects of this process by enabling a single operator to load and unload containers into and from trailers while matching the performance of the 4-laborer teams. This report highlights the mechanical details of the Trident system experimental prototype built at Carnegie Mellon University, and examines the requirements of a suitable sensing configuration for the system. The authors propose a specific configuration of GP2D02 sensors as a candidate for Trident’s sensing system. Results of initial experimentation to evaluate the suitability of the GP2D02 sensors are presented along with a description and performance analysis of a sensing system prototype that was built using these sensors. Initial performance of the sensing-system prototype promotes the GP2D02 as a strong candidate for fulfilling Trident’s sensing-system requirements, although some difficulties may arise with the active range of the sensors. The recently released GP2D12 promises to be a stronger candidate for the sensor of choice since it could potentially overcome some of the difficulties posed by its predecessor, the GP2D02.

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