College of Engineering Unit:
We are designing an automated grass seed cutter for the Oregon State Seed Lab. The OSU Seed Lab tests thousands of tall fescue grass seeds for their viability. To complete this test, each seed is manually cut with a razor blade just above it's embryo to soak in a tetrazolium solution to measure its viability. Manually cutting tiny grass seeds is a very labor-intensive and inefficient process, so our job is to create a machine that can do it automatically. In 2020, a prototype seed cutter was designed by a previous capstone team that worked marginally well, but still had to have each seed loaded manually and would often cut at the right location. We are tasked with fully automating this process from the time the seeds are loaded to collecting all of the cut embryos. We are also improving on the cut location accuracy by implementing a computer vision program with a USB webcam and a NVIDIA Jetson Nano to accurately detect the seeds orientation and therefore cut it at the correct location relative to its embryo.
Project Communication Piece(s):