Agriculture World

Now Robots Could Pick Strawberries for Wimbledon in a Week

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

It is said that every year during the Wimbledon around 34,000 kilos of strawberries are consumed, all of which could be picked by a small group of robots who are capable of finishing the task in less than a week.

Unveiled by the ACTPHAST 4.0 prototyping incubator in Brussels, it will take fourteen of the new robots to collect as well as package all the fruit required.

With its patented arm-mechanism the ‘Rubion’ robotic picker identifies a mature strawberry with lasers, and then picks & packages it in 5 seconds.

OCTINION, a research & development company with office in Yorkshire has developed the Rubion bot. The speed facilitates every robot to deliver 11,500 strawberries in a 16-hour day.

While gathering apples & other hard fruits has often taken a more clear-cut mechanical approach, literally shaking crops & assembling them off the ground, the automatic picking of strawberries has always suffered from drawbacks due to the delicate nature of the fruit.

berries

CEO and founder Dr Tom Coen said, “The picking of delicate fruits with machines has always been difficult given that they are so easy to get crushed and the sensitivity needed to distinguish whether a fruit was ripe or rotten, simply wasn’t there”.

He added “However, Rubion, our autonomous strawberry-picking robot is a new approach around this problem. It is similar to a human in many ways - the robot only picks the best fresh, red berries & will not damage or hurt the strawberries in any way.”

Dr Jan Anthonis, CTO & co-founder of Octinion said, “Our robot doesn’t require a break or a holiday & doesn’t complain about the weather. He said, “The arm has our very own patented ‘soft touch gripper’ that does not do any more damage to the strawberries than a person would. It collects the strawberry literally like an individual without cutting or burning the stem, but by actually picking a berry.”

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