Project Code: 18025
Project Title: Grasshopper Harvester
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: University Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Department of Entomology
Description: Grasshoppers are a major pest in agricultural fields, and pesticides are commonly used to prevent them from damaging crops. A self-driving electric vehicle was developed that collects grasshoppers by exploiting the way they hop. The harvester uses GPS to move throughout a designated area and relies on ultrasonic sensors to map the terrain and avoid obstacles. Grasshoppers cannot control the direction in which they jump, and launch themselves into the air based upon the direction they are facing. Relying on that fact, the harvester seeks to scare the grasshoppers into the air and move fast enough to catch them in a bucket like that found on a front-end loader. Vibrations from the harvester operation keep the grasshoppers from jumping and holding onto the sides of the bucket, and a conveyor belt moves the grasshoppers into an internal storage container.The storage container is modular and can be easily removed and replaced on location. Container capacity is calculated using a scale and when it is full, the harvester returns to a designated home location.