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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF NEW AND IMPROVED SYSTEMS TO ENHANCE FOOD SAFETY INSPECTION AND SANITATION OF FOOD PROCESSING Title: Development of Video Technology to Analyze Dynamics of Inertia-Based Apple Orientation

Authors
item Lefcourt, Alan
item Narayanan, Priya - UMBC, DEPT OF MECH ENG
item Rostamian, Rouben - UMBC, DEPT OF MATH & STAT
item Tasch, Uri - UMBC, DEPT OF MATH & ENG
item Kim, Moon
item Chen, Yud

Submitted to: Proceedings of SPIE
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2006
Publication Date: November 12, 2006
Citation: Lefcourt, A.M., Narayanan, P., Rostamian, R., Tasch, U., Kim, M.S., Chen, Y.R. 2006. Development of video technology to analyze dynamics of inertia-based apple orientation. Proceedings of SPIE. 6381:Q1-Q10.

Interpretive Summary: Development of automated systems to examine fruit for quality and contamination problems has been blocked due to lack of an inexpensive, fast, method to appropriately orient fruit for imaging (picture taking). We recently discovered that apples could be oriented based-on the shape of fruit and the effects of rolling the fruit. Apples were rolled down a ramp consisting of two parallel rails. When sufficient rotational velocity was achieved, the apples moved to a configuration where the stem/calyx axis was perpendicular to the direction of travel and parallel to the plane of the tracks. The calyx is the "bottom" side of fruit. Hopefully, this discovery can be used to develop a commercially-viable orientation system. However, many question remain concerning the underlying dynamic principles that govern this phenomenon. An imaging system and software were constructed to allow detailed observation of the orientation process. Sequential 640x480 pixel monochrome images are acquired at 60 frames per second and 1/500 sec exposure. The software finds the center of the apple in each image and also monitors the up and down movement of the track. Early tests revealed that the flexibility of the track plays a significant role in the orientation process. The software also determines when and if the apple is actually oriented. This program will speed the development of a practical system for appropriately orienting apples for imaging. The technology will be of interest to scientists and engineers working on systems for the automated handling of fruit.

Technical Abstract: Development of machine vision systems to examine fruit for quality and contamination problems has been stalled due to lack of an inexpensive, fast, method for appropriately orienting fruit for imaging. We recently discovered that apples could be oriented based-on inertial properties. Apples were rolled down a ramp consisting of two parallel rails. When sufficient angular velocity was achieved, the apples moved to a configuration where the stem/calyx axis was perpendicular to the direction of travel. This discovery provides a potential basis for development of a commercially-viable orientation system. However, many question remain concerning the underlying dynamic principles that govern this phenomenon. An imaging system and software were constructed to allow detailed observation of the orientation process. Sequential 640x480 monochrome images are acquired at 60 fps and 1/500 sec exposure. The software finds the center of the apple in each image as well as the vertical movement of the track at a selected coordinate. Early tests revealed that the compliance of the track played a significant role in the orientation process. These data will be used to compare results from empirical tests with predictions of dynamic models.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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