Research Projects

Mani-Dacsa: New handling techniques using integrated sonorization for the estimation of properties and automatic determination of the quality and health of agri-food production in inspection and handling lines

Start Date:     


End Date:    


Financing entity:  

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación


Main Researcher: Mellado Arteche, Martín

About the project

The Mani-Dacsa project is part of the Dacsa collaborative project, which aims to generate knowledge to develop and integrate advanced automatic inspection and intelligent handling techniques aimed at guaranteeing the quality and safety of fruit and vegetables.

Mani-Dacsa’s main objective is to generate scientific knowledge and develop new techniques for robotic systems capable of handling products without damaging them, inspecting firmness using non-destructive methods that do not alter the properties of the product, and quickly classifying high-quality agri-food products. delicacy, contemplating the integration of other inspection systems in the same handling system.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  • Improve and develop the current technologies used in robotic handling systems and create knowledge of new possible technologies of robotic grippers for fruit and vegetable products, taking into account their characteristics of irregular, flexible, deformable and delicate bodies. Both traditional technologies, based on air, contact or needles, as well as the possible use of other newer technologies capable of adapting to the shape of the product, will be taken into account. Among these, it is intended to investigate under-actuated mechanisms and the use of techniques based on the alteration of the physical properties of the fingers of the claw, proving promising techniques of Jamming (bags filled with small solids), magneto-rheological fluids (which modify their viscosity by applying a magnetic field) and electro-polymers (deformable polymers under the application of electrical charges).
  • Take advantage of the grip of the agri-food product to characterize its firmness through the use of tactile and inertial sensors. The use of different types of sensors in the same claw will provide it with sensations of pressure, force, vibration, sliding, position, etc. In addition, these values ​​obtained by the sensors, firmness mainly, can be related to the physical properties of the product obtained with destructive reference tests (both previously on other products of the same batch and later on the same product), allowing that during the gripping process carry out its characterization with non-destructive methods.
  • Implement handling systems for agri-food products that integrate sensors and inspection and handling systems of all subprojects. Two systems specifically designed for quasi-spherical products (citrus, peach and apple types) and elongated products (such as aubergine and cucumber) will be considered. The design will consider the needs to be able to integrate the tactile and inertial sensors coupled directly on the fingers of the claw; the vision system that allows the product to be recognized and its location with respect to the gripper; the visual inspection system for external and internal quality control; and the spectrometer inspection system. The achievement to be achieved with this integration is to obtain an integrated pick&inspect&place operation.