Abstract: In the oil palm industry, there is an exigent need for the development of climbing robots in order to cope with the impending shortage of manual labour for the pruning and harvesting operations. On tall oil palm trees, harvesting and pruning are extremely labor intensive processes. Therefore, research of this kind will potentially lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency in daily operation. Several relevant studies are discussed in this study to identify the trends and challenges in an attempt to identify the most suitable locomotive mechanism for an oil palm climbing robot. Morphological studies of oil palm trees and its surrounding environments were conducted to identify design challenges. Concept selection matrix was utilized to determine the most suitable locomotion followed by a force analysis of the tracked crawler. The developed prototype of the Polyurethane (PU) tracked crawler was presented. Finally, outdoor trials were conducted to study the effectiveness and feasibility of the tracked crawler design. The results indicates huge potential of the PU track being used on future climbing robots to climb irregular surface of oil palm trunks.
Sharence Nai Sowat, Wan Ishak Wan Ismail, Siti Khairunniza Bejo, Muhammad Razif Mahadi and Muhamad Saufi Mohd Kassima, 2017. Design and Feasibility Study of a Surface-Irregularities Adaptive Tracked Crawler based on Oil Palm Tree Morphological Features. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 12: 5949-5955.