Our organization (Concrete Jungle) picks fruit from urban fruit trees around the Atlanta area. One problem that we face is that as we grow, it becomes harder and harder for us to keep track of our trees — they all produce on slightly different schedules (or not at all) and we need to know what each is doing before we can plan a fruit-picking event.
We’ve teamed up with Carl DiSalvo’s Public Design Workshop at Georgia Tech to try to create an electronic nose that can smell fruit ripening in a tree. This way the tree could let us know when it’s ready to be picked. We’re trying to work with cheap Taguchi gas sensors as you might find on Sparkfun. Although these sensors are sold as a propane/alcohol/… sensor, they are not particularly specific to those gases. We’re hoping that by using an array of these sensors we’ll be able to tease out a meaningful signal.
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