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April 13th 2020

Mitch pitches the business case for tomat.io and we are selected as one of the winners! We would like to sincerely thank the Esch Foundation for its generous support of our project. While completing our prototype, the entire team gained valuable skills in market research, technical development and client communication.

March 27th 2020

The Winter 2020 term marks tomat.io participating in the Concept 5K finals for a second time in a row, with Andrew delivering a video pitch this term. The team is proud in the improvements that were made in the business plan and presentation!

March 13th 2020

Due to COVID-19, the Mechatronics symposium is cancelled last-minute. Nevertheless, the tomat.io team gathers to record a final video and showcase our project to our professors. Overall, the team is very proud of being able to implement vision, prototype an end-effector, and integrate it all with a manipulator.

March 6th 2020

As Brad and Andrew were working in Robohub on campus at the University of Waterloo, CTV featured the lab and recorded a special on Robohub. This video offers great insight into the various projects going on in Robohub. Brad and Andrew can be seen on the video around time 8:40.

March 5th 2020

A huge accomplishment for the entire team! Following several days of integration testing, debugging and squishing tomatoes, the team had its first successful end to end run. Defining a bounding box for allowable robot positions, and improved force feedback in the grippers had huge impacts.

New grippers

March 1st 2020

Larger grippers with a greater surface area were designed and manufactured to grasp tomatoes of all sizes. This improvement had the additional bonus of enhanced quality of force feedback so tomatoes will not be damaged during harvesting.

February 27th 2020

After weeks of progress on our computer vision, Mitch's revised algorithm was able to detect a "tomato" on our testing setup in Robohub.

Detection Working

February 20th 2020

After spending several days finalizing electronics and manufacturing, the End Effector was ready to be tested. Without much insight into how much force would be required to cut through a vine, Adam's design worked perfectly and the actuators cut the vine with ease.

February 15th 2020

After weeks of delays due international shipping issues, the original PCB arrived in Waterloo. Unfortunately the design has since changed and these boards will no longer be used. The board used on our final prototype will be the one manufactured at the University of Waterloo.

PCB Waterloo
Completed Prototype

February 10th 2020

Today was the first day attaching our End Effector to the Kinova Gen 3 arm. Adam's design mounted on the arm perfectly the first time!

February 1st 2020

Andrew completed the design and manufacturing for all of the electronics. The board was printed in Engineering 5 building at the University of Waterloo.

PCB Waterloo
Manufacturing

January 27th 2020

Mitch has taken the lead on manufacturing the End Effector using the Formlabs Form 2 printer with Grey Pro resin. The End Effector now consists of 8 independently printed parts and 6 machined parts.

January 12th 2020

Adam continues to improve the design of the gripper. It now weighs 40% less than the original design and is equipped with Force Sensitive Resistors in the gripper claws for realtime feedback when grabbing tomatoes.

Adams Redesign
Adams Redesign

January 5th 2020

Progress has resumed after taking a break to spend time with friends and family over the holidays. Adam released a new design moving away from the pneumatic suction to hold the tomatoes and to actuated grippers.

December 5th 2019

The team visited partnering greenhouse, Elmiras Own, to collect a sample of >150 color and depth photos. This will be used as the greenhouse training set for our computer vision models. Our computer vision models will be developed on the greenhouse training set, and a custom mock rig set, simultaneously.

Elmiras Own Visit
Tomato Detection

November 26th 2019

Mitch completed the first iteration of the tomato detection model. K means clustering and circle detection algorithms have gave the most promising results thus far.

November 18th 2019

Brad pitched at the finals of the Velocity Concept 5k finals. Valuable connections were made and the market research and idea validation will help the team moving forward.

Full Robot Prototype

November 12th 2019

Adam has been working tirelessly to complete the design of the first prototype for our custom End Effector. The End Effector will be mounted on the end of a Kinova Gen3. tomat.io has partnered with Robohub at the University of Waterloo for access to the arm for the foreseeable future!

November 4th 2019

Brad pitched the future of tomat.io to a collection of experienced judges in the Velocity Concept 5K semi-finals. Of 15 competing teams, tomat.io was one of 5 to move on to the finals, stay tuned for the results!

Velocity Concept Finalists
Elmiras Visit 1

October 18th 2019

A road trip was taken to Elmiras Own to determine what the current process looks like for harvesting tomatoes in greenhouses. The manager Stewart spend over 3 hours with the team answering questions and showing the team industry best practices.

October 4th 2019

The entire team visited Vineland research center to get scoping advice. Progress was made towards scoping the project to be complete by March of 2020.

Vineland Research Center

About

Motivation

More than 70% of farmers in North America failed to meet hiring expectations in 2018 due to labour shortages.

Product

We are equipping farmers with tools to address labour shortage by developing a robotic platform which will automate the harvesting of tomatoes in greenhouses.

Team

Adam Marchand

Adam

Adam can be relied on for his outgoing personality and his great sense of humor. He uses his industry experience from Apple, North and ATS Automation as the lead mechanical designer.

Bradley Whitlock

Brad

Brad is an optimistic and organized leader with an infectious positive attitude. Using his experience from Abnormal Security, Capital One and Cognite AS he leads the software and marketing teams.

Andrew Constantinescu

Adam

Andrew brings a determined work ethic to the team while asking the tough questions to steer the team in the right direction. He brings skills from Tesla, Bendix and Ontario Drive & Gear to head the electrical and firmware divisions.

Mitch Phillips

Brad

Mitch is viewed as the idea "factory" on the team while amazing everyone with his savvy problem-solving skills. He leads the vision and testing teams by bringing extensive domain knowledge from Form Labs, Toyota and North.

Support

To allow this product come to life, we have worked with many amazing partners throughout our journey.

Actuonix

Actuonix has provided the team with linear actuators for use on our custom End Effector.


Robotshop

Robotshop has generously supported with sponsorship of electronic components.


Elmiras Own Greenhouse

Elmira's own has provided industry advice and farming expertise.


Robohub

Robohub based out of the University of Waterloo has donated working space, robotics expertise and a Kinova Gen3 arm.


Vineland Research Center

Vineland Research and Innovation Center has provided scoping advice and technical guidance.


Kinova Robotics

Kinova is providing technical assistance as we integrate our End Effector on their robotic arm.


Contact

Tomat.io is currently located in RoboHub in Engineering 7 building at the University of Waterloo.

Please see the About page for our Linkedin profiles. For immediate inquiries please contact Brad at bradwhitlock6@gmail.com.

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