Advanced core processing: New robot technology appealing for apple growers
Nothing says fall like going apple picking! In the not so distant future you may be joined by apple picking robots. Australia’s Monash University is working on autonomous robots to help with a labor shortage.
Following extensive trials in February and March at Fankhauser Apples in Drouin, Victoria, the robot was able to harvest more than 85 per cent of all reachable apples in the canopy as identified by its vision system.
Of all apples harvested, less than 6 per cent were damaged due to stem removal. Apples without stems can still be sold, but don’t necessarily fit the cosmetic guidelines of some retailers.
With the robot limited to half its maximum speed, the median harvest rate was 12.6 seconds per apple. In streamlined pick-and-drop scenarios, the cycle time reduced to roughly nine seconds.
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