This article describes the tasks and first results of the work package “Manipulator and Control” of the EU project Trimbot2020. This project develops a mobile robot for outdoor hedge, rose and bush trimming. The Kinova Jaco
robotic arm was selected as manipulator. Two different types of robotic end-effectors have been developed. The tool for trimming topiaries uses two custom designed circular contra-rotating blades. The tool for single stem cutting is based on a commercial electrical pruner. The arm and the tools can all be controlled by using the Robot Operating System (ROS). The motion planning algorithm of the arm for the bush trimming action is divided into the planning setup module, the coverage planning module and the trajectory planning module. The path planning is modelled as a traveling salesman problem. In the first phase of the project the trimming control is performed open loop. A positioning genetic algorithm was developed that minimizes the needed number of vehicle poses for one target object. In the next phase of the project a vision feedback mechanism will be implemented.
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