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April 24th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Robotic Strawberry Pickers

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It looks like a box, but this robotic box is set to revolutionize the strawberry industry

Oldster farmers in Japan face increasingly tough times – few younger Japanese are willing to go into agriculture, and finding a successor to help out on the farm can be very difficult. Video after the jump.

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So robots are being developed as power suits – and as fruit pickers. In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, venture firm Romobility Youto is working on a robot that can perform the labor-intensive task of picking strawberries, and at least one farmer is enthusiastic, Nikkei Net reports. The robot moves through a greenhouse scanning the strawberries with its color-sensitive camera eye.

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When it detects a ripe one, its arm reaches out to cut the fruit and place it on a tray. Ambient light doesn’t affect performance.“Measuring… Oh, I found one. Starting to pick,” Nikkei quoted the machine as saying. It’s still pretty slow, picking only one berry every ten seconds.Still, the farmer who owns the greenhouse was sanguine.

Via: lovingthemachine.com

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