Digital robotic system for grafting vegetable seedlings

M. Bogoescu, M. Doltu, M. Singh, B. Iordache
Grafting cultivars with high quality and productivity onto rootstocks that are resistant to soil-borne diseases and nematodes, respectively tolerant to the abiotic stress is a method known from many years but which was improved and quickly spread in the last 20 years. More than 70% of vegetable grafting is performed manually. In 1989, the first robotic “one - cotyledon grafting system” was adapted by Iam Brain in Japan for vegetables of the Cucurbitaceae family. Nowadays, six models of semi or fully automatic grafting robots are available to be used commercially. The grafting robots have been developed one in the Netherlands, Spain and Korea, respectively, three models in Japan. This research aims to establish the technological features and the economic efficiency of the elements regarding the semi-automatic grafting of watermelons and peppers, using the grafting robot AFGR-800CS. This grafting system has the possibility that after cutting the rootstock and scion, the video cameras will take a photo on both cutting surfaces and the processor will calculate in real time how far they are from the central axis. As concern the calculated value, the driving engine will get information how large is the power drive angle for an accurate matching of the rootstock to the scion. The results obtained showed that the semi-automatic grafting improves the yield of grafting operation; the grafting quality is superior under the conditions of a lower cost price as compared to the manual grafting; two operators, which supply the grafting robot with vegetable seedlings, will assist the robot unit.
Bogoescu, M., Doltu, M., Singh, M. and Iordache, B. (2020). Digital robotic system for grafting vegetable seedlings. Acta Hortic. 1296, 1071-1078
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1296.135
cost price, efficiency, quality, operators, yield

Acta Horticulturae