An entire orchard can be "cleaned" in a short time by several drones coordinated by a single "autonomous digital brain" positioned on a ground unit.
Collecting fruit is a physically laborious activity that can take a lot of effort, sometimes in harsh weather conditions, for over eight hours a day.
While it may have its good times, it's generally a low-paying, seasonal, repetitive job that offers little chance of a career. Not to mention the many complaints of exploitation of workers, often migrants, subjected to grueling shifts under a scorching sun.
The flying robot to collect fruit
The pandemic has exacerbated this situation due to travel restrictions that prevent seasonal workers from crossing borders to pick fruit where needed. And that's why robots that can manage crops are gaining ground.
Tevel Aerobotics Technologies He developed an autonomous flying robot (FAR) which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and harvest fruit.
The company says its self-contained flying robots, which can be used anywhere, can meet this labor need at a lower cost, making it easier to manage an entire orchard.
The FAR uses AI perception algorithms to locate trees and vision algorithms to detect fruit among the foliage. If there is fruit to be harvested, timing is crucial since. Fruit harvested two weeks late loses 80% of its value. The robot collects only ripe fruit, classifying its size and ripeness, effectively dealing with this task.
After choosing the fruit, the robot finds the best way to approach it and uses its arm to grab it.
A flock in the branches
Multiple robots can work together and clear an entire orchard without bumping into each other. Thanks to artificial intelligence, which coordinates all operations from a single autonomous digital brain located on a ground unit. Of course they can work around the clock.
It goes without saying that this new robotics "specialization" raises the age-old theme of human unemployment caused by robotics.
The company claims (okay?) That its robots will not replace the human workers employed today to harvest fruit, but are designed to help them.