Monday, October 29, 2012
These relatively new sites publish projects from entrepreneurs and offer supporters several ways to help. Some of them are allowed to offer equity in the new companies, others simply receive donations in exchange for non-monetary rewards. The project owner decides which rewards will be offered to the supporters that donate from a small amount (maybe $10) to larger sums.
The more active crowdfunding platform is currenly KickStarter.com, but it is restricted to US citizens. I am searching for a US-based partner that will help me to appear in KickStarter and start collecting some money.
A site oriented to science and scientists is I am Scientist . One of its features is that helps publish an academic profile of the project author, including all scientific publications. My project is currently being reviewed there.
We the trees is another crowdfunding site that is oriented to permaculture. It looks like a good fit for the Bendable Tree Project. I submitted the project and they are evaluating it.
Idea.me is also a crowdfunding site in Spanish. I am submitting to it because I might find sympathy among fellow Latin Americans or Spaniards.
Trying to be creative about rewards, I offered Dedicated Restricted Trees, with a plate with donor name. The tree is photographed and the photo is sent to the donor and published in the web. I also offered to donate fruit (collected with my method) to the poor neighbourhoods here in Buenos Aires or elsewhere.
So, if you want to donate, please visit some of the sites above.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Advisory Service for fruit tree growers: a profitable activity for the new company
For Licensers of the Restriction Press Technology: Design - Manufacturing - Analysis - Communication with buyers
For Final Users: Field Support - Press Use - Press Change - Shaking Technique
Applying restriction-growth devices to a tree is not an all-or-nothing process. The press must accompany the growth, and provide protection at al times against excessive movement that could lead to breakage of the tree. Locations that can be affected by hurricanes or tornados need extra care on the tree-flexibility issue.
The presses have different sizes, according to the age of the tree that receives them. The smaller press is usually a 2-bolt press, as seen in the Diagrams page. It is replaced by a Small 4-bolt press after a year or two, and by a larger one after another couple of years.
Also, the presses need bolt-loosening once in a while. As the trunk grows, the narrowing forced by the bolted press can stay to thin. Thus, a little loosening will add more room to the narrowed part of the tree.
Shaking a normal tree is a delicate procedure. Too little force is ineffective, and too much can damage the tree. For that reason, mechanical tree shakers should be adjusted to each tree: size, strength, species, fruit ripeness and other factores. Some researchers are even developing software that should optimize the vibration force, amplitude and frequency.
Trees modified with our Restriction Presses are much easier to shake, because a little force obtains an ample movement. But when modified trees grow over certain measures (width, height, fruit load weight, size of narrowing/enlargement) the manual shaking is no longer an option, and a mechanical tree shaker is needed. When and how to implement mechanical shaking is also included into our advisory expertise.
Some fruit growers use abscision chemicals to cause the dehiscence of the fruit at the time of shaking. If this process is needed, we can advice on how to use them and on which trees.
Our laboratories and experimental fields will permanently grow new trees and carry out yield and breakage tests on the existing trees, under different presses and conditions. That information will be also sent to our clients as part of the service.
We can provide the calculation-based guidance to tree growers as a service to those who purchase the presses or license the technology from us.
The consulting business is an addition to the core ones: selling of presses, selling of modified young trees, technology licensing.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
- sizes, surfaces, volume and weight of the available presses
- features of the product
- evolution of a tree with the modified parts
- how to apply the presses, when to loosen them, when to change them
- resistance of modified trees to fracture in the event of strong winds
- 3D model of the presses
The business plan provides a number of actions that we intend to carry out with the next investment
Ask them if you are really interested in the product, either as investor or user.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
This is important because it provides recognition from the most prestigious university in the country and the region.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Those monster machines are scary, both to normal farmers that cannot afford them, and to the millions of poor migrant labourers that pick the fruit today.
But after questioning 500 fruit experts, the prospects of many multi-million dollars fruit-picking robots seem uncertain: a device costing U$D 3 per tree can replace them. 46% of responders said the little device could replace the expensive robots. 38% were undecided, 12% favoured the natural, human hand labour and 4%, who happened to be working in software for the fruit-picking robots, said the robots were better.
Approaches to mechanical fruit collection
Lets take a look at the contenders.
On the expensive range of the field, Carnegie-Mellon Robotics Institute and Japanese researchers have been developing immense machines with a few dozens of eyes and thousands of robotic arms with hands and fingers. These robots locate the mature fruit, take them delicately with their fingers, spend a few seconds deciding whether the fruit is mature and deposit it in a basket.
An important part of these robots is the software that allows the robots to tell a mature from a still green apple. Or pear, or peach, because each different fruit poses a different challenge. Those expensive machines need to be very fast, because Nature does not give us much time to collect ripe fruit, and when you rent a monster like that you pay monstruous bills.
The most common aproach to automated fruit picking is the tree shaker. Shakers are very aggresive approach to fruit picking, because they apply a lot of energy to trunks to produce a good crop. That energy is expensive in terms of fuel and also damages the bark, trunk, branches and roots. Software is also an important part of these type of fruit picker. There is a software that evaluates each tree and decides how much energy (wave amplitude and frequency) needs to be applied for optimal collection and minimal damage.
The third approach is "combing", a system that also requires precision, large number of combing arms, sincronization, amplitude of movement and artificial intelligence to locate the combs near the branches and move them.
The fourth approach would be "beating", using robotic arms to impact the branches and dettach fruits. Some machines combine shaking and beating. Of course, it is the most damaging method and only applies to nuts and fruits intended for juice or other processing.
This video of a Colossus 26-ton olive picker robot is a sample of how a brute-force approach is applied to a seemingly simple task: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxS7s3BzIUk&noredirect=1 . Similarly, this is a monstruous olive picker:
Simple is better.
The existence of some many expensive and complex approaches to fruit picking is a sign of no clear cut winner. For that reason, a most simple solution by a non-fruit scientist is winning adepts: The Bendable Tree Project.
This diagram shows the principle:
The method efficacy is now being confirmed by scientists at the University of Buenos Aires, School of Agronomy.
The information about the pressing device and a contact form is found at http://netic.com.ar/bendable-tree/ .
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
There are fields at U$D 5000 per hectarea (U$D 2000 per acre), at places with good production of apple, peach, pear, olive or other fruits.
We need U$D 5000 to travel and visit propects.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
The experiment will compare modified trees with normal ones. I expect to start in the next couple of months and collect results over the next 4-5 years.
This experiment will be divided in several locations. Each location will test different species, according to region, climate and preferences. The methods will be uniform, in order to allow all the trees to be part of the same experiment.
The publication in a scientific journal will take place as soon as we have significant results. I expect the publication will bring contacts, besides getting academic recognition and public exposure.
I expect that all of them will grow in a similar way, as my preliminary data show now. Is is also possible that the modified trees might suffer a small delay in growth and production.
The project will fail completely if the modified trees do not produce fruit, or if they break easily during a storm.
When the interested parties write their interest to me we will agree on the details: how to run the experiment, which species to plant, blueprint of the presses to be used, measurements to be taken and other issues. The paper will be written and authored by all parties. The publishing costs will be divided among signers.
Fruit collection can represent 50% of the production costs. I invented a wooden press that is applied on the trunk base of young trees, creating a narrowing that allows easy tree shaking.
Experts so far have said nothing against it. I hope someone will want to participate in the patent-licensing business.
The website for this project is http://netic.com.ar/bendable-tree/
The website contains most of the established data, while the blog records my daily efforts in making this idea go from project to big business. It might be read by investors or by colleagues interested in how to sell inventions, how to transfer techonology from the design board to the market or how to do creative e-marketing on a new product.
See you here! Sergio Samoilovich - Buenos Aires, Argentina