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Dispositivo de control de vibraciones para árboles frutales y su procedimiento asociado


Oferta Tecnológica
Una universidad andaluza ha desarrollado y obtenido la patente de un nuevo dispositivo de control de vibraciones y su procedimiento asociado aplicado a árboles frutales. El dispositivo desarrollado permite reducir la duración del proceso de vibración aplicado a los árboles frutales y evita daños en las partes sensibles del árbol, como las raíces. La patente describe, por un lado, un sistema de control configurado para conectarse a la máquina de vibración y actuar sobre la velocidad del motor de tal forma que la frecuencia de vibración aplicada al árbol coincida con la frecuencia natural de resonancia del árbol y, por otro, uno o varios sensores de vibración configurados para obtener información en tiempo real sobre la respuesta del árbol a la vibración aplicada y un sistema de procesamiento conectado al sistema de control y al sensor de vibración, que está configurado para gestionar el funcionamiento de este sistema de control y sensor de vibración. Con un nivel TRL 6 de desarrollo, la universidad busca una empresa en el área de maquinaria agrícola para explotar la patente.


Vibration control device applied to fruit trees and associated procedure.
An Andalusian University has developed and patented an innovative vibration control device and its associated procedure applied to fruit trees. Actually with a TRL 6 of development, the university is looking for a company to exploit the patent. This company should work in the area of agricultural machinery. The developed device allows shortening the duration of the vibration procedure applied to fruit trees and avoiding damage to sensitive parts of trees such as roots.
For the collection of certain fruits, and especially olives, it´s used a method that involves the application of mechanical vibrations to the trunk of the tree in question with the purpose of dropping the fruit. The devices designed for this purpose include clamps or vibrating heads that can shake with powers of up to 100 HP, normally thanks to the action of one or more hydraulic motors connected to eccentric masses. These devices usually don´t analyze the natural frequency of the tree or if they do, they don´t memorize this frequency with the position in relation to the tree in question within the field. If a mechanical vibration is applied equal to the natural one of the tree, it will go into resonance, getting a big shake and therefore harvesting fruits without applying a high energy, which could damage the tree.

The patent solves the problem due to a new vibration control device that allows to identify the position of the tree to be vibrated and to determine if the tree has been vibrated beforehand. In the affirmative case, the knowledge of the natural frequency of the previous vibration of the tree makes possible to shorten the amplitude of the frequency sweep necessary to determine its natural frequency of current vibration. As a result, the time needed to determine the frequency of vibration of each tree is reduced, which saves time and therefore also costs. In effect, the natural frequency of vibration of a tree changes with the passage of time due to multiple factors, such as the weight and distribution of the fruits or the gradual growth of trunk and branches. However, the change in the natural frequency of resonance of a tree over the time that passes between one vibration and another, normally about a year, can be considered low.

In this way, if the tree had a certain natural frequency of resonance in the last season, it would be expected that the natural frequency of resonance of the current season is close. The present invention takes this into account for once the natural resonance frequency of a tree is known from a previous vibration, centering and shortening the sweep of frequencies around this natural frequency of resonance in the subsequent vibration.

Furthermore, an advantage of the device of the present invention is that it can be configured as a physically separate element from the machine that applies the vibration to the shaft. In this way, the device of the present invention can be configured to be connect to any conventional vibration machine without regard if this machine is electric or hydraulic type. Due to this, this device allows to transform any manual vibration machine into an "intelligent" vibration machine with a capacity for vibrating at its natural frequency of resonance.

In summary, the patent describes on the one hand, a control system configured to be connected to the vibration machine to act on the motor speed of such so that the frequency of the vibration applied to the tree coincides with the natural resonance frequency of the tree and on the other hand one or several vibration sensor configured to obtain real-time information about the response of the tree to the applied vibration; and a processing system connected to the control system and vibration sensor, which is configured to manage the operation of this control system and this vibration sensor.
Advantages and Innovations:
The developed device allows on the one hand to shorten the duration of the vibration procedure applied to fruit trees due to the use of an embedded system with a capacity for memorizing the characteristic frequency of each tree in particular, on the other hand it avoids damage to sensitive parts of the trees, for example, in roots.

Currently, most of the devices that are used are designed primarily for the application of vibration to the tree in question, without sensors to obtain information that allows knowing the state of the tree in real time during the application of vibration. For this reason, in most cases the frequency and intensity of the applied vibration is controlled in a completely subjective and empirical way by an operator.

To solve this problem, some devices have been developed with a vibration sensor and a real-time control of the characteristics of the applied vibration. This system prevents damage to the roots and also maximizes the amount of fruit extracted from the tree. However, it has the disadvantage that for the determination of the resonance frequency of a tree it is necessary to perform a wide frequency sweep in the applied vibration. This large sweep amplitude can be an excessive loss of time in the process of identifying the resonance vibration of a tree. This process of frequency can be done hundreds or thousands of times, as many as trees that are going to vibrate on the farm. The accumulated loss of time can be very large.

The benefit in the saving of time in the harvesting of the fruit, as well as bigger productivity of trees that are not damaged by the process, are the main advantages of this patent at economic level.
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
Patents granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The company is looking for foreign companies for services agreements. Companies that want to enter into a licensing agreement or alternatively technical agreement in order to exploit the patent.


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
01003013 Information Technology/Informatics