- Abstract: A gripping device for harvesting melons was developed for selective harvesting of easily bruised fruit using robotic automation. The gripper was designed, considering the variability in size of the melon, to retain the melon, lift it slightly from the ground, cut it free from the plant, and release it where required without damage to the fruit. An initial prototype was constructed and manually activated in the field to check the feasibility and effectiveness of the concept. This initial design performed well when manually operated. However, some potential problems were anticipated for operation by a robot manipulator which relies on sensory inputs. To overcome these, alternative intuitive design approaches were obtained. An improved gripper was also designed and constructed.