Strawberry-picking robot prototype being tested in U.K.

Fast Company
May 16, 2019
By Fast Company
Octinion
In a greenhouse in Belgium, a small robot moves through rows of strawberries growing on trays suspended above the ground, using machine vision to locate ripe, flawless berries, then reaching up with a 3D-printed hand to gently pluck each berry and place it in a basket for sale. If it feels that a berry isn’t ready for harvest, the robot estimates the date it will be ready for it to return and pick it.

It’s a test of a system that Octinion, the R&D company building the robot, believes could replace traditional strawberry farming and harvesting.

In California, where tough immigration policies plus broader economic conditions mean the number of immigrant farmworkers is decreasing (and native-born workers don’t want the job), strawberry growers are finding it harder to find workers to harvest fruit. In the U.K., Brexit is making farm labor less appealing for Eastern European workers who used to do the job. Most developed countries are facing similar challenges with agricultural labor shortages. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.