A Berry Picking Robot With A Hybrid Soft-Rigid Arm: Design and Task Space Control

Naveen Kumar Uppalapati, Benjamin T. Walt, Aaron J. Havens, Armeen Mahdian, Girish Chowdhary, Girish Krishnan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a hybrid rigid-soft arm and manipulator for performing tasks requiring dexterity and reach in cluttered environments. Our system combines the benefit of the dexterity of a variable length soft manipulator and the rigid support capability of a hard arm. The hard arm positions the extendable soft manipulator close to the target, and the soft arm manipulator navigates the last few centimeters to reach and grab the target. A novel magnetic sensor and reinforcement learning based control is developed for end effector position control of the robot. A compliant gripper with an IR reflectance sensing system is designed, and a k-nearest neighbor classifier is used to detect target engagement. The system is evaluated in several challenging berry picking scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems XVI
EditorsMarc Toussaint, Antonio Bicchi, Tucker Hermans
PublisherMIT Press Journals
ISBN (Print)9780992374761
StatePublished - 2020
Event16th Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 12 2020Jul 16 2020

Publication series

NameRobotics: Science and Systems
ISSN (Electronic)2330-765X


Conference16th Robotics: Science and Systems, RSS 2020
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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