India, the world’s largest producer of cotton, contains more than 4 million cotton farms that are less than 5 acres. These farms are incapable of large-scale mechanization due to small farm size and irregular farm shape. A previous team developed a handheld, roller-based picking device that demonstrated increased performance over similar products. However, a significant improvement in productivity requires increasing picking speed through mechanization as well as increasing worker cotton carrying capacity. We present a system that utilizes the roller-based picking device in tandem with a compressive storage bag and an efficient carrier. Through modeling and initial testing, the system demonstrates a two times (2X) improvement in worker productivity over current methods. This paper characterizes the cotton picking process, details the modules of the integrated system, and suggests further procedural improvements for greater increases in worker productivity.

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