In any commercial nursery, an important step in ensuring the health of the plants is container spacing. Every container has to be evenly spaced as the plants grow so the plants do not intertwine and get damaged. While spacing is critical for the health of the plants, it is also one of the least desirable tasks on the farm. Moving and spacing plants is hard, tedious work.
Harvest Automation’s HV-100 robot, commonly nicknamed the Harvey, is designed to handle all plant spacing, consolidation and collection aspects of a nursery or greenhouse operation, and uses established technology that is reliable, affordable, and perfectly geared towards the task at hand. The Harvey has found commercial success – due in large part to the its technological ease-of use and efficiency, as well as low cost of operation as compared to the high costs of labor.
In order to reach its current manifestation, the Harvey underwent a prototyping process that required the expertise of Lampin engineers. Lampin/MITRPAK manufactures a right angle gear drive that powers arms in the front of the robot to raise and lower the potted plants. This gear system also includes electronic sensors that keep the robot aware of its position.
Lampin/MITRPAK remains intimately involved with the design of the product. Harvest Automation initially engineered the part, and Lampin engineers made refinements after a prototyping process where the part went through multiple iterations before a final design was reached. Lampin added value by providing engineering expertise and by working with Harvest Automation on a program that combines high-quantity blanket orders with part cost reduction.
The amount of intricate machining and engineering expertise put into the production of the right angle gear drive for the Harvey’s functionality is a testament to the engineering and innovative acumen of Lampin Corporation.