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Robot design to decrease farmer’s working load

Campus News

Robot design to decrease farmer’s working load

This three-month project brought students from Taiwan and Japan together working on improving lifting farmers’ burden. Funded by Taipei Tech, Osaka Institute of Technology, and Yanmar Company, Taipei Tech team was send to Kyoto’s countryside and to learn about local farmers working environment. Prof. Sheu Dong-Yea at Taipei Tech’s Graduate Institute of Manufacturing Technology recognized the value of this kind of international project saying students can not only get real experience from actual working field but also to develop their solving problem capability.

In June, Taipei Tech team visited a village near Kyoto that is facing aging issue. They discovered that it took a lot of time for farmers to go back and forth between farmland and home changing different tools. In order to solve this problem, the team wanted to design a robot that will carry those tools as well as crops for farmers and follow them around automatically. With this design idea in mind, the team flew back to Taiwan and started to make thoughts come true.

The develop process was filled with interdisciplinary communication. Huang Zheng-wei, one of the team members at Taipei Tech Master Program in Mechanical Engineering, noted that from the mechanical engineering perspective, the simplest way to make a carrying robot that follows the user around is to put a sensor on the person. But other members from the Department of Industrial Design thought this design is not user-friendly enough. They spent two weeks debating and finally came out with a compromise solution. They end up putting a color sensor on robot that will allow it to trace farmer who wears a cloth with a particular color.

The team leader, Prof. Chuang Ho-Chiao at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, noted that vocational education system has always been focus on hands-on experience. Language is not our students’ strength. By giving them opportunity to stay aboard will help them to face their weakness and try to improve it. Prof. Chuang also noted that Although Osaka Institute of Technology has better equipment comparing to Taiwan, the professional training offering to and capability of Taipei Tech students are comparable to their Japan counterparts.

 

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