The robotics designers offer to the farmers the opportunity to significantly reduce the costs of manual labor for harvesting. The robots can replace the seasonal manual work or even permanent employees on farms.
In this article, I made a presentation of the robots designed to replace the manual work in harvesting the fruits. All of the below robots have the ability to detect, recognize, and determine if these are ripe enough to be picked. In addition, they are able to harvest the fruits without damaging them.
Apple-Picking robot with vacuum
Thanks to the start-up Abundant Robotics, apple orchard farmers will be able to use robots instead of seasonal pickers. The AR startup uses the vacuum to pick apples from trees.
The robot uses computer vision algorithms to identify and locate apples in the tree. The technology used is not specifically designed for agriculture. The same technology can be applied in a wide range of industries, but for now they are using it into the agriculture.
Apples require attention at harvesting. The robot is designed to work with precision in harvesting and to store the apples. The collection is made through a flexible hose and the storage is made in the same big boxes as used by the human workers.
The company is already planning the next version of the robot that will have many more robotic arms.
The transition from the prototype to the mass production of the robot is scheduled to start in 2018.
Autonomous robot to harvests soft fruits
Strawberries are delicate fruits and require careful picking. The start-up Dogtooth Technologies designed a robotic arm capable of harvesting sensitive picking fruits such as strawberries.
The robot uses machine vision and motion planning algorithms to recognize and locate the ripe fruit to be picked.
The next step in robot development is to improve the learning algorithms. In order to make better fruit harvesting decisions, the robot needs algorithms capable of learning so that harvesting to be done with fewer errors.
The fruit images are captured by several cameras that move up and down for a detailed view of the crops.
The GPS system mounted on the robot platform helps to precisely establish plants and fruit production. Thus, the farmer can identify the most productive area as well as the area with a low yield.
Robotic fruit harvester
The FFRobotics company design and produce a robot able to reduce the costs of farmers by replacing the harvesting labor. The robot is called FFRobot.
Like many other robots, FFrobot uses advanced image processing algorithms and algorithms for picking the fruits from the tree.
The image processing algorithms can detect damaged, diseased or unripe fruits.
The grasping hand can be easily modified to pick different types of fruits. This makes the robot available for different harvesting seasons.
SW 6010 to harvest strawberries
SW 6010 is the first autonomous robot available on the market able to detect and collect strawberries.
The robot has attached a number of mobile arms that can identify and pick up the ripe strawberries.
The robot analyzes the strawberries one by one and gently harvests them to prevent damage to the fruit.
AGvision is a system developed by the company and uses artificial intelligence to identify the fruits and their quality.
It can autonomously navigate between the rows of strawberries, so the operator can handle strawberries into boxes.