The mechatronic design of a robotic arm to remove skins by wine fermentation tanks was developed, along with the building and testing of a first prototype, within the frame of the BRIC 2015 national research project on the confined spaces, which was funded by INAIL (National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work). The main motivation of this research is to avoid workers accident when operating inside confined spaces with pollution, as in the case of wine fermentation tanks. In fact, commonly, the removal of skins requires the entrance into the tank through the manhole access and the successive task of the worker by the inside, in order to push the skins out. Probably, this is the most labor-intensive aspects of winemaking and consequently, great care should be taken when entering a tank that has just finished fermentation due to the danger of asphyxiation from the residual carbon dioxide. Thus, acquired the design specifications by the industrial environment, in terms of shape and size of the most common wine fermentation tanks, the kinematic synthesis of a tendon-driven mechanism was formulated and then, developed the mechatronic design of a new robotic arm that is the subject of this paper. In particular, the tendon-driven mechanism of this 3R (Three-Revolute) robotic arm is one time redundant, since has 3 d.o.f.s in the horizontal plane, and it is also provided of specific hooks that are installed along a suitable chain transmission system with 1 d.o.f. Therefore, the removal of the skins from the wine fermentation tank can be performed by the robotic arm of Fig.1, because of the combination of two joint effects, the closing motion of the 3R planar mechanism, along with the action of the moving hooks to harvest the skins.
Mechatronic Design of a Robotic Arm to Remove Skins by Wine Fermentation Tanks / Figliolini, Giorgio; Di Donato, Luciano; Melloni, Riccardo; Paolo Bacchetta, Adriano; Lanni, Chiara; Preziosi, Claudio; Rea, Pierluigi. - (2019). (Intervento presentato al convegno XXIV Congresso AIMETA2019 tenutosi a Roma nel 15-19 Settembre 2019).