Aaron Saenz reports on Japanese research on strawberry-picking robots. Excerpt:
(…) A typical berry field one square kilometer in size takes about 500 hours to harvest. With its speedy evaluation, the strawberry picking robot could cut this down to around 300 hours. Not only that, but every berry would have a quantifiably similar level of ripeness based on color, and would be harvested with a minimum of bruising. Robots will also be able to harvest during the night (as shown in the videos below) allowing for the fruit to reach market closer to optimum freshness. These improvements in speed and quality will likely translate to millions of dollars saved each year for the industry as a whole. Even if we focus on strawberries alone, robots like this one make a lot of sense.
Read the whole thing » there is an excellent video of the robot at work.