Orchards In A Jetson's Age

Orchards In A Jetson's Age

Orchards In A Jetsons Age. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

We’ve been talking about getting robots to do our work for us for years. The Jetson’s age is quickly approaching if a new robotic apple picker recently demonstrated is any indication. Manoj Karkee, Assistant Professor with WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems discusses how their research from the last couple years is working out.

KARKEE: We demonstrated the capability of a robotic hand with about six joints in it and with a motion vision system which is a system cameras and computer algorithms to identify and locate where the fruits are.

The robot was demonstrated indoors using a fake tree and real fruit. It seems just such a simple task.

KARKEE: Finding where the apples are, reaching those apples, rotating around to detach them and then move the detached fruit into a collection bin.

Even though the technology would work to a certain degree in conventional trees it’s ideally suited for the new fruit wall architecture that many orchards are going to.

KARKEE: The eyes of this robot are working are working very good. They can detect and locate as many as 95% of apples in the type of architecture they call fruiting walls. The hand part has also shown promising results in terms of both the speed and the accuracy of detaching fruit.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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