This is the apple picker that was constructed to play the PiWars2022 Nature’s Bounty Game.
Apples (red table tennis balls) were attached to the tree by magnets.
The unit is a gantry carrying five similar apple pickers. Each picker has a prong which knocks the apple from the tree, into the chute below. The four corner pickers can collect two apples, the centre one has a longer chute so can collect four.
The centre picker has a camera mounted behind it which is used to guide the robot onto the centre apple of each branch. A micro-switch informs the robot when it has pressed against the tree.
During game play the robot drives to a position facing the branch of the tree using the odometry system. Then visual guidance is used to direct the gantry until it presses against the branch of the tree. After a short pause the robot backs away before moving on to the next branch.