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Due to the ever-increasing demand for food commodities and issues arising in their transport from rural to urban areas, commercial agricultural practices with the help of vertical farming are being taken up near urban regions. For the realization of agricultural practices on high-rise vertical farms, where human intervention is quite laborious, robotic assistance would be an effective solution to perform agricultural processes like seeding, transplanting, harvesting, health monitoring, nutrient-water supply, etc. The requirements and complexities of these tasks to be performed are different such as end-effector requirement, payload capacity required, amount of clutter while performing the task, etc. In such cases, an individual robotic configuration would not serve all the purposes and each task may require a different configuration. Purchasing a large number of configurations, as per requirement, is not economical and will also increase the cost of maintenance. Thus, the design of a reconfigurable robot manipulator is proposed in this work which can cater to modular layouts. A thorough study of the processes involved in the farming of leafy vegetables is done and the tasks to be performed by the manipulator are identified. Constrained optimization is performed based on reachability, while minimizing DoF, for the tasks of transplanting, plant heath monitoring, and harvesting to find the optimal configurations which can perform the given tasks. The study resulted in 5-DoF, 4-DoF, and 6-DoF configurations for transplanting, plant heath monitoring, and harvesting, respectively, thus emphasizing the need of a reconfigurable solution. The configurations are realized using modular library and verified to satisfy reachability to provide a complete solution.
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