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Coconut-Harvesting Robot
The urge to invent knows no geographical boundaries. We were intrigued recently by reports of a remote-controlled coconut harvester invented by a fellow in India. Having spent quite a few vacation hours over the years watching workers climb trees to retrieve coconuts, I wanted to hear how such a gadget would work.
  Growing co-conuts in Kerala, a southern state of India, is like growing corn in Indiana. It's the area's biggest crop, but the harvest has always been done by hand.
  Prakasan Thattari hopes to change that with his motorized coconut picker. "Coconut tree climbing is a risky job, and there is a great scarcity of tree climbers," Thattari told FARM SHOW. "All coconut farmers are facing this problem. If the coconuts are not harvested in time, there is the possibility ripe coconuts will fall on people and cause casualties."  
  "My machine is handmade, without much engineering accuracy. But even so this prototype works well," he says.
  A rechargeable battery powers the electric motor, which moves the machine, mimicking the motions of a man climbing a tree. Once at the top of the tree, the plucking portion reaches out to cut coconut bunches or twist off individual coconuts. All movements are controlled by the operator using a 100-ft. range radio frequency remote control.
  "Usually an average coconut tree climber is able to climb 50 to 60 coconut trees a day," Thattari says. "This machine has no such limitations."
  A YouTube video (Coconut Harvesting Robot) and recent publicity has attracted a lot of attention. So Thattari is hopeful he'll find a manufacturer.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Prakasan Thattari, Nambiary House, P.O. Mayanad, Kozhikode District, Kerala State, PIN-673008, India (t.prakasan2008@yahoo.com).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4