Robots

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📄 Study on how robotization of tomato production could enhance food security

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-28 Thu 10:00

The world is facing food insecurity problem due to shortage of workforce and growing world population. Robotization of crop production will help to boost food production, through effective labour conservation. This study was carried out to optimize the performance of tomato fruits' robotic harvesters,…

📄 Tomato detection by robots in complex environmental conditions

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-25 Mon 12:16

Fruit detection forms a vital part of the robotic harvesting platform. However, uneven environment conditions, such as branch and leaf occlusion, illumination variation, clusters of tomatoes, shading, and so on, have made fruit detection very challenging. In order to solve these problems, a modified…

"Robot labour will soon be available for passive greenhouse growers too"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-14 Thu 06:16

For years, growers have been struggling with labour shortage. Even before COVID prevented seasonal labourers to work abroad, growers did not always have enough employees to get the job done. Employing a multi-functional robot instead would solve many of these problems. After all, robots can not only…

"The core of our business is to replace the human hand and the human eye with automation and vision technology"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-24 Thu 11:15

Despite the pandemic or perhaps because of it, domestic sales have been very strong this year for Australian automation company GP Graders. "We had a number of sales for blueberry machinery, small tomato machinery and of course cherry machinery," explains Stuart Payne, Director of the company. "A big…

Investors to support developers bringing leaf cutting robot to the market

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-18 Fri 11:15

SAIA Agrobotics, a tech spin-off from Wageningen University & Research, will further develop its technology for greenhouse robotics with investments from the Technology Transfer funds of Innovation Industries, SHIFT Invest and the ION+ fund managed by Oost NL. SAIA Agrobotics develops robots that can…

"Robots and technology to change retail as we know it"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-17 Thu 13:30
500Foods shared this story from FP.com.

Dr Sanjit K. Roy, UWA Business School and Dr Gaganpreet Singh, Jindal Global University, look at a retail revolution that is under way, where robots are playing an increasingly important role. This year has been extraordinary for many reasons but one of the most fascinating effects of COVID has been a…

Greenhouses, robots, and more

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-16 Wed 16:00

The first half of September saw plenty of interesting developments in the industry. North American growers were particularly busy with new greenhouses and expansions. Automation was also a hot topic, with several robotics providers announcing investments. Lufa Farms World's biggest rooftop greenhouse opens in MontrealBuilding…

Who in horticulture robotics really knows how far the competition is along?

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-03 Thu 14:51

The fourth edition of Future Trends & Innovations was recently held. Unlike earlier editions, it was completely online this time, and with more applications than ever before, noticed organisers AVAG, TNO, Stichting Hortivation and GreenTech contently. There was also plenty of discussion from behind the…

📺 Fruit-picking robot might cover Goulburn Valley seasonal worker gap

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:14

Robot fruit picker ‘Clive’ will be working on two Goulburn Valley properties to see if it is a commercially viable alternative to human labour. The machine was built by Australian company Ripe Robotics. It will be put to the test in the orchards of Turnbull Brothers and HV McNab and Son, near Shepparton,…

Cutting edge agricultural robots offer a low-cost lifeline to UK farmers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-27 Fri 09:48

Senior Robotics Technician Jake Shaw-Sutton, and his startup company Robotriks, have developed the Robotriks Traction Unit.The Robotriks RTU platform can be fitted with a range of traditional and high-tech attachments for use on farms.  A low-cost robotic platform which can be fitted with almost any agricultural…

Co-op is expanding robot delivery

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:20

Co-op is expanding its use of autonomous home delivery by rolling out the service to shoppers in Northampton. The retailer says it has ambitions to use as many as 300 robots by the end of 2021 as it looks for more towns and cities in which to operate autonomous deliveries. The autonomous service will serve around 5,000 Northampton households with contactless deliveries. Initially deliveries will be made from the Co-op food store in Wootton Fields serving communities in Wootton and Hardingstone, with the robots typically travelling up to three miles from the store.
Source: retailanalysis.igd.com 

📄 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

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…

New partnership to drive adoption of autonomous robots by independent grocers

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-18 Wed 10:01
500Foods shared this story from FP.com.

Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil, is teaming up with STCR, Inc., a provider of advanced retail point-of-sale and self-checkout solutions, to increase the momentum of multipurpose robot rollouts by independent and regional grocers around the world. This collaboration will speed deployments…

📄 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

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. A 10% improvement in battery charge time would result in the battery capacity gaining two extra hours from the current 10 h and would cut the current 2 h needed for charge to 1 h. This paper proposes an operation process and suggestions for changes needed for improving the work efficiency of robots in a greenhouse. This could be extended to other crops and greenhouses.

📺 Robot and human harvest together

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

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…

Picking robots address agricultural labor shortages

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

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

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…

Walmart Is Giving Up on Its Inventory Robots

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

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

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…

"I can see hydroponics becoming bigger, from commercial use to homes"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-28 Wed 07:43

A University of British Columbia student design team is developing a fully autonomous agricultural robot, driven by their belief that Canada can lead the world in sustainable farming. The UBC AgroBot aims to precisely exterminate weeds and fertilize crops as well as record data from a farmer’s operation.…

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

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…

"Robots are at the beginning of their potential, while greenhouse workers are at their zenith"

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-26 Mon 09:12

Robotization has been a key development in the greenhouse industry in recent years. With the recent investment by Japanese car part giant DENSO, Dutch agtech company Certhon is well-positioned to play a big part in this development. At the GreenTech, Edwin Vanlaerhoven, head of business development at…