Tuesday, 21 August 2018
 
  Home  
Latest News
Popular
Main Menu
Home
About us
Email
Blog
Forum
Search
How To Order
Contact Us
Private Policy
Terms of use
Articles/Tutorials
Artificial Intelligence
Robotics
Products Categories
Robotics Solar Robotics

List All Products


Advanced Search
Login Form





Lost Password?
Product Scroller
Photopopper Photovore 5.0 Kit
Photopopper Photovore 5.0 Kit


JRT RP1086
JRT RP1086


JRT RP1079
JRT RP1079


JRT RP1085
JRT RP1085


JRT RP1094
JRT RP1094


JRT Shop
  New 
New
Top 
Top Ten
Special 
Special
Random 
Random
 
Robotic Arm
Robotic Arm

Avoider III
Avoider III


Robotic Arm
Robotic Arm

JRT RP1062
JRT RP1062


JRT RP1061
JRT RP1061


Download J Robotics's listed product's catalog. To download please click here. | For free E-Mail id like myname@jrt.in, register with us.  
Fruit-picking robots closer to reality Print E-mail

Vision Robotics, a San Diego company, is working on a pair of robots that would trundle through orchards plucking oranges, apples or other fruit from the trees. In a few years, troops of these machines could perform the tedious and labor-intensive task of fruit picking that currently employs thousands of migrant workers each season.

The robotic work has been funded entirely by agricultural associations, and pushed forward by the uncertainty surrounding the migrant labor force. Farmers are "very, very nervous about the availability and cost of labor in the near future," says Vision Robotics CEO Derek Morikawa.

 Grapevine+pruner

It's a surprising new market for Vision Robotics, which had been focused on developing consumer devices, including a robotic vacuum cleaner to compete with iRobot's Roomba.

When a member of the California Citrus Research Board approached the company in 2004, Morikawa was doubtful that an effective robotic picker was even feasible. A citrus grower brought the skeptical engineers to an orange farm in California's fertile Central Valley, where they walked down the neat rows of trees and stared at the oranges hanging in the branches.

Previous attempts at making a mechanical harvester were thwarted by inefficiency, explains Morikawa. In the past, experimental machines approached a tree as a human would, picking one piece of fruit and then looking for the next. In this slow process, the machine circled the tree repeatedly until it was sure it had picked all the fruit.

Morikawa says his engineers had their breakthrough idea right there in the orange grove. They realized that the task could be divided between two robots: One would locate all the oranges, and the second would pick them. "Once you know where all the fruit is, then it becomes an easy job to calculate the most efficient way to pick it all," says Morikawa.

The eight-armed orange harvester will strip ripe fruit from trees.

Image: Vision Robotics

But it wasn't just technological challenges that held back previous attempts at building a mechanical harvester –- politics got involved, too. Cesar Chavez, the legendary leader of the United Farm Workers, began a campaign against mechanization back in 1978.

Chavez was outraged that the federal government was funding research and development on agricultural machines, but not spending any money to aid the farm workers who would be displaced. In the '80s, that simmering anger merged with a growing realization that the technology was nowhere near ready, and government funding dried up.

This time around, growers' associations are funding the research. By the end of this year, the orange growers will have invested almost $1 million in the project, says Ted Baskin, president of the California Citrus Research Board. He estimates that it will take about $5 million more to get to the finished product.

Vision Robotics is developing a machine to trim grapevines in the fall.
Image: Vision Robotics

source

 
< Prev   Next >
JRT Videos

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video  

more videos....

Newsletter/Register

Polls
You find JRT website informative?
 
Advertisement
Who's Online

© 2018 J Robotics Technologies, India

Get The Best Free Joomla Templates at www.joomla-templates.com