Kevin Martin and Hyundo Reiner from Cornell University made this Automatic Grapefruit Segmenter for their ECE 4760 Designing with Microcontrollers Final Projects. Watch the video below to see it in operation, the system first rotates the half grapefruit looking for the thick material that divides the segments. This is done by reading the feedback from a flex sensor. Once the entire half grapefruit segment locations have been mapped the cutting begins. The rotating platform presents the segment edges to a chopping blade which cuts the segment edges all the way around the fruit. The heart of the electronics is a Atmel ATMega644 Microcontroller, it interfaces to all the motors and sensors that make the system tick. We can see lots of LEGO and scavenged parts used in the rapid prototype which is a great way to keep parts out of the garbage. I can just imagine what the junk box looks like in the Cornell ECE 4760 lab!
Looking for more interesting Cornell projects? Bruce Land has created a new Youtube channel that has a ton of the videos from ECE 4760.