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Human's effort can be replaced by this Octinion’s strawberry-picking bot



Seeing the capability of this Robot, it is of no doubt that there is a rise in the application of tech in the agricultural sector. This Robot Which is a property of a  Belgian engineering company Octinion, with its smart algorithms and a 3D-printed hand has the ability to figure out and pluck a ripe strawberry and then pick it off the forb without any damage to the fruit.



According to the CEO of Octinion Tom Coen,
we have developed a fully autonomous strawberry picking robot. It’s able to navigate autonomously with centimeter precision. Thanks to local beacons, no structural changes to a greenhouse are necessary. Using our own 3D vision system, the robot can perfectly detect and localize ripe strawberries. Our patented soft touch gripper then picks strawberries without bruising, just like a human picker.
  Octinion’s strawberry-picking bot

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The CEO further said that they faced a lot of problems which they eventually solved while developing this Robot. One of the biggest problems was the risk of bruising the fruit, it was solved by using a “soft touch gripper that spreads the pressure evenly over the surface of the strawberry.”

Another issue encountered during the development was making the Bot to differentiate between a riped and unripened strawberry. This was solved by training a dedicated AI system for the task, and also picking the strawberry without any of the attached greenery. The last challenge which involved the contact of the Bot on the fruit while turning during plucking was solved by designing the arm to turn the strawberry at an angle 90 degrees.
  Octinion’s strawberry-picking bot

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Tom said that “the robot currently picks at a speed of one strawberry every five seconds, which is close to a human picker." The Robot's picking differs from that of humans by not damaging the fruit and also being able to pick at night and holidays. Tom also added that the robot picking cost is now competitive to the human picking cost. He said “our robots will be picking strawberries for pilot partners in 2018."

As time goes on, the robot will be trained to sort out the fruit in size and quality, picking conditionally, predicting harvests and precision farming, and packaging the strawberries up ready for shipping.

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