GRA Vacancy : Exoskeleton development for oil palm harvesting activities

University / Institute Universiti Putra Malaysia
Project Title Exoskeleton development for oil palm harvesting activities
Start Date 2017-09-01
End Date 2018-12-31
Funding Agency Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)
Grant Name FRGS
Contact Person / Email(s) Hazreen H Harith /
Contact Phone(s) 03-89466416
Nationality Requirements on Candidate(s) Applicants must be Malaysian citizens
Description While mechanization and automation in agriculture is important to increase productivity and reduce the dependency on manual labor, Malaysian climate and terrain, as well as the size and cost of robotic equipment are among the reasons hindering the effort. To date, human dexterity and judgment are still more preferred in many agricultural activities than machines, but human productivity is limited by fatigue. Therefore, a wearable device that allows longer working time without impeding human movement and judgement is extremely desirable. For the oil palm industry, harvesting fresh fruit bunches (FFB) is one of the most laborious activities. Therefore, this research aims to investigate the biomechanics of harvesting activities, which will be used as a basis for designing a wearable assistive device to increase energy efficiency in performing the activities.

– Bachelor’s degree in engineering or related field with a minimum 3.0 CGPA
– Proficiency in any computer programming language
– Strong interest in biomechanics and/or human-machine interaction
– Proactive and able to carry out research independently
– Good command of written and spoken English
– Malaysian citizen
– To register as a Masters by Research student in UPM [*monthly allowance for student = RM1500]

– Organize to collect biomechanics-related data for the identified activities
– Utilize a musculoskeletal modelling software for data analysis, and translate the results toward the design of a wearable device for the identified activities
– Work on research publications

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