The Agricultural Research Station Mannuthy has successfully developed and tested a new version of mechanical coconut climbing device.
The total weight of the device is 8. 400 kg and can can lift a maximum weight of 400 kg.
The objective of the research team is to develop coconut palm tree climbing as a high-tech profession. ARS Mannuthy is planning to go in for large scale production of the device at the industrial level.
The climber unit consists of two parts — the seat unit and the pedal unit.
The entire unit is fitted on the coconut tree with seat unit above the pedal unit. By standing on the pedal unit, the seat unit can be slided up or down the tree.
Since the operator is safely held against the tree by the seat unit, there is practically no risk of falling down or accidents.
An operator takes about 40 seconds to safely climb a palm tree having a height of 12 metres.
Similarly, by sitting on the seat unit, the pedal unit can be slided up or down.
The operator can ascend or descend the tree by operating the seat and the pedal units alternately.
A lynch pin harnessing method is adopted here, which provides easy harnessing and dismantling within 26 and 10 seconds, respectively.
The device named KAU Kera Suraksha has been designed and developed by Dr U. Jaikumaran, Professor and Head of ARS Mannuthy, Ms Suma Nair, Dr V. R. Ramachandran, Ms Sakeena Beevi and Mr P. Ajith Kumar.
The overall cost of the machine is approximately Rs 7,000, but it could be reduced if is produced at the industrial level.
The price of the safety harnessing unit is Rs 10,000. The ARS is also making use of an overall suit and safety harnessing belts for palm tree climbers.
This gives total safety and security to the climbers.
The ARS Mannuthy will also provide a one-week training programme for coconut palm tree climbing, cleaning the crowns, cross pollination techniques on crowns, developing of hybrid coconut nuts etc.