Robots

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📄 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…

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
2168

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…

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…

📄 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.

📺 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…

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…

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…

"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
1960

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
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…

"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
1936

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…

Field Robots for Intelligent Farms—Inhering Features from Industry

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-24 Sat 15:22
1915

Estimations of world population growth urgently require improving the efficiency of agricultural processes, as well as improving safety for people and environmental sustainability, which can be opposing characteristics. Industry is pursuing these objectives by developing the concept of the “intelligent factory” (also referred to as the “smart factory”) and, by studying the similarities between industry and agriculture, we can exploit the achievements attained in industry for agriculture. This article focuses on studying those similarities regarding robotics to advance agriculture toward the concept of “intelligent farms” (smart farms). Thus, this article presents some characteristics that agricultural robots should gain from industrial robots to attain the intelligent farm concept regarding robot morphologies and features as well as communication, computing, and data management techniques. The study, restricted to robotics for outdoor farms due to the fact that robotics for greenhouse farms deserves a specific study, reviews different structures for robot manipulators and mobile robots along with the latest techniques used in intelligent factories to advance the characteristics of robotics for future intelligent farms.

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. 

Alphabet’s latest X project is a crop-sniffing plant buggy

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 14:12
1783

Alphabet’s X lab, the former Google division that launched the Waymo self-driving car unit and other ambitious projects, has officially announced its latest “moonshot”: a computational agriculture project the company is calling Mineral.

The project is focused on sustainable food production and farming at large scales, with a focus on “developing and testing a range of software and hardware prototypes based on breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, simulation, sensors, robotics and more,” according to project lead Elliott Grant.

A blog post outlining the project’s vision says Mineral, which now has an official name but may have launched in secret around 2017 according to Grant’s LinkedIn page, will try and aim technology toward...

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Neupeak Robotics autonomous fruit picker awarded $100K for BC Fast Pilot Project

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 12:25
1776

Neupeak Robotics have secured $100,000 through the National Research Council and Innovate BC’s Fast Pilot Program. The BC Fast Pilot program allows BC technology companies to demonstrate the impact of their product, measure the value of their solution, and encourage customer adoption through the…

This robot fry chef on rails can be yours for $30,000

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-06 Tue 11:08
1681

Miso Robotics is one of the many firms trying to automate food preparation, and today, it announced that its latest machine — which places its burger-flipping bot Flippy on rails to move it about the kitchen more easily — is now on sale globally.

Prices for the contraption (known as the Flippy Robot-on-a-Rail or Flippy ROAR) start at $30,000, though Miso Robotics wants to bring the cost down to $20,000 in the future. The company is also offering the option to hire Flippy ROAR for $1,500 a month, a fee which includes maintenance and upgrades and which Miso says is cheaper overall than hiring humans.

Like Flippy before it, Flippy ROAR is designed to automate simple food prep, specifically anything involving fryers and grills. The robot...

Robots are coming to harvest our food

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:50
1640

It’s a misty morning near Salinas, California and the advanced.farm TX harvester—a lightweight, driverless tractor covered in canvas—is picking strawberries. Like a dot-matrix printer moving along a page, the harvester’s robotic hands move back and forth along the beds, scanning for signs of red. When it…

Russia’s X5 Retail Group introduces speech bots at grocery chains

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 08:46
1645

X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer that operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok and Karusel retail chains, has begun to implement a robotic telephone platform. The system, which uses speech technology to carry out various business functions, is a proprietary development of the X5 Big Data department. The project also uses Yandex SpeechKit technology, part of the Yandex.Cloud online services platform.

Agriculture Deptartment Drops Wage Floor in H-2A Farmworker Program

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-01 Thu 20:06
1626

Mexican farm workers harvest celery in a field of Brawley, California, in the Imperial Valley, on January 31, 2017. Many of the farm workers expressed fears that they would not be able to continue working in the United States under the President Trump's administration.

'Agricultural Robotics: Part of the new deal?'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-25 Fri 10:15
1530

This year is marked by the Covid-19 pandemic and the global confinement it has led to. This unprecedented situation impacts the agricultural production and further compounds the difficulties of a sector undergoing labor shortages.In that light, how can robotics provide an appropriate and…

Harvesting robot can work 24 hrs/day

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-25 Fri 10:15
1532

This video features a fruit harvesting robot. It's more efficient and precise than a person. The robot uses artificial intelligence and the latest technology and is fitted with lights. So, it can navigate through large greenhouses and orchards, 24 hours/day. It can then detect which fruits are ripe…

Seven-foot robots are stacking shelves in Tokyo convenience stores

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-21 Mon 09:39
1435

Japan has the oldest population in the world, and that's causing an acute labor shortage. With almost a third of the population aged 65 and above, finding workers can be a challenge.

Nexus Robotics advances its automated weeding technology

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-09 Wed 11:10
1284

Funding will help commercialize technology that addresses major challenges faced by farmers

September 9, 2020 - Halifax, Nova Scotia – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Agriculture is one of Atlantic Canada’s biggest exports and sources of economic activity; however, today’s farmers face significant challenges getting their products to market. Labour shortages, pesticides and global warming have all changed the way agricultural products are grown, harvested and distributed to consumers. To help facilitate the search for better solutions, the Government of Canada is supporting businesses that are finding creative ways for farmers to more easily grow and harvest their crops.

Robotic kiwi picker uses computer to identify and harvest ripe fruits

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-07 Mon 13:46
1251

An automated kiwi picker created by Robotics Plus is showcased in a video on LinkedIn, shared by Santosh Swamy. The robot uses its computer to identify the ripe fruit and harvest only these kiwis.

Turkey: High school students grow produce in a hydroponic greenhouse equipped with robotic systems

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-04 Fri 08:21
1228

High school students in Bartin, Turkey are learning about greenhouse production and high-tech greenhouse production know-how. As a part of the project, the students are learning about hydroponic production in a remote-controlled greenhouse. The students were involved in all parts of the production…

World’s largest agri robot tested in the US

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-27 Thu 09:28
1139

Experts from British research institute Rothamsted Research are currently testing the latest in artificial intelligence for farming. It is the world’s largest agricultural robot, the Field Scanalyzer. This international research centre focuses on strategic agricultural science, and trials on the Field…

ShopRite introduces Sally, the salad bar reinvented

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-27 Mon 23:36
876

Customers at the ShopRite of Carteret, NJ, can order fresh salads with Sally the Salad Robot, which offers a contactless and individualized salad bar experience at a time when many people are looking for alternatives to traditional salad bars. Sally uses groundbreaking, advanced robotics and self-service technology to prepare and dispense made-to-order salads and healthy meals.

With a few taps of Sally’s screen, a customer can create a nutritional meal with favorite fresh ingredients that are safely protected in airtight, refrigerated containers. The fresh food robot contains 22 ingredients, including dressings, fruits, nuts, vegetables and proteins such as chicken, eggs and ham. Sally can combine two main base ingredients, up to six toppings and a dressing to make a custom salad, grain bowl or pasta salad. Sally also offers several chef-recommended recipes such as the Chicken Brown Rice Bowl or Cobb Salad, and users can view nutritional and calorie details for each ingredient. Customers can tailor that nutritional information to their own dietary needs by adding or subtracting ingredients from their order.

Fruit picking robots and vertical farming receive government funding

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-21 Tue 09:15
846

A fruit picking robot scheme led by Saga Robotics in Lincoln will receive nearly £2.5 million as part of a new UK government funding initiative to drive efficiency in food production. The ‘Robot Highways’ project aims to act as a catalyst for a sustainable farming industry in the future by maintaining or…