+36 70 203-3120 | agrowebsystem@gmail.com | Blog | Contact

Agricultural robot for asparagus harvesting

  • 206

ST Robotics has been manufacturing and selling low-cost desktop robots for 3 decades. During this time we have been involved in many applications and projects. One of the applications is in agriculture.

As the world population grows, so does the need for food. Over the past decades, food production and agriculture have become more efficient, producing more food at lower cost and better quality. Modern farmers are of course highly mechanized, and the next step in mechanization is robotics.

What robots can give us:

– Labour savings

– and/or higher production rates

– Higher quality.

ST Robotics has been manufacturing and selling low-cost bench-mounted robots for 3 decades. Along the way, we have been involved in a wide range of applications and projects.

One of the main applications is agriculture. A start-up company has already licensed our technology for strawberry picking.

A number of robot companies are working with different crops such as apples and peppers, but no one except a Japanese company has tried asparagus picking.

Why asparagus is the target area for robotic harvesting?

– Picking asparagus is hard work and very bad for the back.

– Judging which asparagus to pick is subjective.

– The crop can be ready overnight and labour is rarely available at such short notice.

– Robots can work in the dark.

Some robotic harvesters have been developed, but their approach has been from the perspective of agricultural machinery, not robotics.

In addition, asparagus is usually cut on the move, i.e. while it is moving. This results in some asparagus being missed or damaged.

The asparagus must be cut correctly, just below the soil level, otherwise the cut stems are unprotected from bacteria and weather. Large machines cannot do this.

How the ST robot agricobot works:

The robot moves alongside the asparagus bed. The operator sees what the robot sees and selects the asparagus to be cut.

The AI system learns the difference between good and bad asparagus and later knows which asparagus to cut.

Two robots are on a chassis that runs alongside the asparagus bed. (note that a version with 3 beds is also planned.)

Source of this page: https://www.roboticstomorrow.com/article/2020/08/case-study-asparagus-picking-agricobot/15621/