Automation

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New high-speed, pressure sensitive M2 label applicator introduced

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-25 Wed 11:19
2238

ID Technology, a ProMach product brand, introduced their new M2 label applicator. This label head applies pressure sensitive labels to clamshells, tubs, boxes, trays, bottles, and pallets as well as other packages. Featuring a new onboard controls module with ProMach’s Titanium motion controller, as well…

📄 World-first investigation raises ethical and policy challenges in using robots in agriculture

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-23 Mon 15:24
2212

With automation poised to transform agriculture in Australia in the coming years, Monash University researchers have published the first-ever analysis of the ethical and policy issues raised by the use of robots in agriculture. Agriculture employs around 2.5 per cent of the country’s workforce and is a…

📺 Solutions that optimize the fruit and vegetable packaging process

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-20 Fri 08:34
2187

The year 2020 has been a difficult one dominated by the pandemic. Even with increasing work volumes and fewer staff available, TopControl technology provided its hardware and software solutions to guarantee fresh products. A video of the machine while it is operating The most challenging aspect in these…

State-of-the-art robotic welding line

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-16 Mon 08:39
2143

"This is a peculiar year - the pandemic has made everything new and uncertain. One of few sectors unaffected by the crisis is the agricultural and food sector, especially when it comes to large retail chains and producers. Most of our clients belong to this category and, luckily, they are going through…

Picking robots address agricultural labor shortages

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-12 Thu 13:16
2128

Around the world, growers have always found innovative ways to work smarter. Although processes and inputs can be stretch to the limit to maximize profits, human labor cannot, and it is becoming a devastating problem. The increasing worker shortage continues to make it difficult for farmers to get the…

"It is not just asparagus producers who want to simplify and automate their packaging processes"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-12 Thu 13:15
2129

It is the asparagus season - in a way. Usually, the leading trade fair for asparagus and strawberry cultivation in Germany takes place in November. Due to the Corona situation, the trade fair duo expoSE/expoDirekt unfortunately had to be cancelled, but the sector is still looking for the latest solutions…

📄 Analyses of Work Efficiency of a Strawberry-Harvesting Robot in an Automated Greenhouse

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-11 Wed 08:59
2120

Protected cultivation systems such as greenhouses are becoming increasingly popular globally and have been adopted because of unpredictable climatic conditions and their ability to easily control micro- and macroenvironments. However, limitations such as hazardous work environments and shortages in labor are major concerns for agricultural production using these structures. This has led to the development and adoption of robotic systems. For the efficient use of robots in protected cultivation systems, we formulate the work efficiency problem and model a three-dimensional standard strawberry greenhouse to analyze the effectiveness of a strawberry-harvesting robot compared to different levels of human workforce (experienced, average, and beginner). Simulations are conducted using Quest software to compare the efficiency of different scenarios of robotics to humans. Different methods of improvement from battery capacity and charge rate to harvesting speed are investigated and optimal conditions are recommended. The average hourly production of the robot is about five times lower than that of skilled workers. However, robots are more productive due to their ability to work around the clock. Comparative analyses show that a reduction in harvesting time per strawberry from 3 to 1 s would result in an increase in daily production from 347.93 to 1021.30 kg. This would lead to a five-fold increase in comparison to present daily production.

📄 Automating irrigation with the Arduino controller

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:27
2092

A research trial was conducted in the greenhouse of the Community of Mollepata in Ayacucho, Peru. The objective of the work was to develop an automated irrigation system with an Arduino control board in order to grow hydroponic crops. The system uses an Arduino ATmega328P board to connect different…

📺 Robot and human harvest together

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-09 Mon 13:28
2083

Farmers aim to decrease the use of herbicides. But, there is insufficient labor available in both conventional and organic farming to remove weeds and harvest by hand. Wageningen researchers develop self-learning robots that pull weeds and harvest with increasing skill. Since humans and robots will likely increasingly work…

Crate erector increases efficiency for folding crate users: automatic de-stacking and unfolding

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-09 Mon 13:25
2087

The folding crate is gaining ground in the fruit and vegetable market. The reason is the considerable savings in terms of transport and space. But, users of these folding crates need to be aware of the large amount of monotonous and labor-intensive work, says Lan Handling Technologies from Halfweg. The…

Picking robots address agricultural labor shortages

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-06 Fri 11:01
2068

500Foods shared this story from FP.com. Around the world, growers have always found innovative ways to work smarter. Although processes and inputs can be stretch to the limit to maximize profits, human labor cannot, and it is becoming a devastating problem. The increasing worker shortage continues to make it difficult for farmers to get the…

Fresh fruit picked by Israeli robots

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-05 Thu 10:10
2057

Israeli Industry experts estimate that about 10 percent of the world’s fruit crops rots on the trees and goes to waste because there are not enough workers to pick it. That is why one apple grower in northern Israel is testing out a robotic fruit-picking system from Tevel Aerobotics Technologies, a local…

📺 Savings in labor costs with the Horizontal Fumimatic machine

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-04 Wed 13:50
2044

IDM develops a machine for horizontal spraying in greenhouses. The crop protection is specially suggested for strawberry, nurseries and ornamental flower crops. It is a machine just 85 cm wide, with horizontal bars that open and stretch, making the treatment from top to bottom. “It is the best solution…

Labor cost increases continue, highlighting importance of automation

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-03 Tue 07:39
2028

Rising labor costs and the move to greater automation remain driving forces in the horticulture industry, even amid the Covid-19 crisis. A recent industry survey highlighted these issues according to Javo USA, Inc. General Manager Michiel Vanderwaal. “The situation at the beginning of the year was very uncertain,“…

📺 String machines in times of crop rotation

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-03 Tue 07:37
2032

The end of the year is approaching, and for many greenhouse horticulturists this period is dominated by crop rotation. The crop rotation is the process in which the old crop is removed and the greenhouse is completely cleaned to make way for the new crop. This process is crucial to prevent diseases and…

Walmart Is Giving Up on Its Inventory Robots

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-02 Mon 14:51
2021

Unplugged Tour

After a years-long push to automate its stores with helpful worker robots, Walmart Inc. is pulling the plug.

While Walmart plans to experiment with some kinds of robots and automated tech, according to The Wall Street Journal, the retail giant will no longer use robots to scan shelves and track inventory. It turns out that people still do the job better — and were less likely to creep out both workers and customers.

First mechanical weeding prototype

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-02 Mon 13:21
2011

The first prototype of a robot for mechanical weeding was created in 2014 by Paolo Ferrentino (in the photo). "It is a vehicle that performs mechanical weeding proceeding autonomously without the need for operators. It is still a prototype for now, so we are not presenting the definitive machine, but…

New vision technology for lower volume growers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-30 Fri 13:11
1994

When new technology is introduced to agriculture, it’s not always within reach of smaller growers. But that’s not the case with one new vision system that’s likely to appeal to just this group. AIS Technologies Group based in Windsor, ON has just this year launched its Mobile Vision System (MVS) which is…

Canadian company launches new labelling technology line

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-28 Wed 07:38
1964

If the pandemic has highlighted one thing for growers across North America, it is their relationship with labor. Given the challenges growers have seen this year in accessing labor for field/grove/orchard work or in packing houses, maintaining the health of workers and much more, it’s no surprise that…

Waymo and Daimler are teaming up to build fully driverless semi trucks

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-27 Tue 08:47
1950

Waymo and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, announced that they are forming a “broad, global, strategic partnership” to deploy fully driverless trucks. Daimler will integrate Waymo’s autonomous driving technology, widely considered to be among the best in the world, into its fleet of heavy-duty Freightliner Cascadia semi-trailer trucks.

Both Waymo and Daimler were independently working on self-driving trucks until coming together to form this partnership. Waymo had purchased a small fleet of Peterbilt trucks, which it has retrofitted with autonomous driving sensors and software. It currently is testing those trucks in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Embrace automation or get left behind, urge e-commerce leaders

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-26 Mon 09:20
1926

In recent months, more and more businesses have embraced digital than ever before in an attempt to claw back some revenue from factors such as store closures and physical restrictions. And, as a result, an omni-channel approach has never been so important.

Flexible packing systems which are equipped for the future while doing the job that needs to be done today

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-26 Mon 09:13
1933

Getting cutting edge, labour-saving technology for the packhouse and seeing them pay back in just 2-3 years for equipment which has a 15-year life span, sounds like a no-brainer! But it is not that easy to convince people that the investment is going to be worth it. James White, Marketing & Sales…

Modern carrot harvesting machine in action

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-23 Fri 13:23
1909

Modern harvesting machines have simplified the process of carrot picking. Toplift harvesters pull the carrots out of the ground swiftly and with minimal effort. The machines optimize harvest times, and multiple rows of the carrot crop can be harvested at a time. As the machine is tracked across the…

New tomato hook winding machine launched

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-23 Fri 00:46
1893

After 18 months of being busy with the development of a new model of tomato hook winding machine, Steenks Service can finally announce that it is now available. They have recently been working very hard behind the scenes to develop a new machine that is more user-friendly than ever before. User-friendly…

Tomatoes on the vine - the new frontier of automation

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-23 Fri 00:46
1895

Packaging tomatoes on the vine has always been an expensive and slow process in fact, in most cases, operators work in front of scales and weigh each punnet singularly until the exact weight is reached. As a consequence, the weight of packets can be uneven and there can be a high level of giveaway. Watch…

Next-generation horizontal-motion conveyor introduced: Zephyr™

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-21 Wed 16:42
1879

Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, introduces Zephyr™, the next-generation horizontal-motion conveyor. Featuring a patented direct drive with a counterbalance system, Zephyr’s unique motion profile gently moves product with no segregation or stratification and at…

Cauliflower cutting machine processes 150 caulis per hour

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-21 Wed 16:41
1881

The video below features a cauliflower cutting machine that can cut up to 150 cauliflower per minute. The cauliflower are placed directly from the field onto the conveyor belt of the machine that cuts the product into pieces. The video was produced by Sweere Food Processing Equipment.

Canadian company launches new labelling technology line

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-21 Wed 16:40
1884

If the pandemic has highlighted one thing for growers across North America, it is their relationship with labor. Given the challenges growers have seen this year in accessing labor for field/grove/orchard work or in packing houses, maintaining the health of workers and much more, it’s no surprise that…

Sam's Club Deploying Autonomous Robots

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-21 Wed 15:56
1876

Sam's Club is adding 372 autonomous floor scrubbers, manufactured by Tennant Co. and powered by Brain Corp, to its fleet. The expansion will result in a floor scrubber in nearly all of the retailer's 600 U.S. stores. 

Sam's Club is also expanding a six-month retail shelf analytics pilot using Brain Corp's innovative floor scrubber accessory for localizing and analyzing shelf inventory with the goal of improving in-store shopping experiences. This cloud-connected application helps verify pricing accuracy, confirm planogram compliance and ensure product availability without requiring time consuming and potentially inaccurate manual processes.

The data-scanning capabilities using artificial intelligence (AI) will work in addition to the cleaning attributes of the Tennant T7AMR floor scrubbers.