This model of the robot is expected to deal with the labor shortage in the United Kingdom.
Fieldwork Robotics – a company of the University of Plymouth in England, has successfully tested the agricultural robot which is skilled at harvesting raspberry. If the robot gets commercialized, it will definitely make up for the harvest labor shortages.
According to The Guardian, the European employees tend to work seasonally, the majority of harvesting workers in the UK have gradually been moving to European countries like Germany rather than England, which leads to the harvest labor shortages and rotten unpicked fruits. Therefore, at the moment, a lot of farmers are looking forward to these autonomous harvesting robots.
Field Robotics company was founded to commercialize these robots, at the first testing attempt, this robot would be able to pick raspberry. This type of fruit is considered as a real challenge because it is more likely to be ruined than other soft fruits, not to mention its unequal distribution on branches. The idea is that if a robot system is able to pick raspberry, it would also be able to pick other types of fruit.
With the testing module, ripe fruits are detected by the robot’s camera system, after that, its 2 arms reach out to the tree and gently pick the raspberry. Then the robot put it in the container, moving on to the next one.
A farm in West Sussex has registered to apply the robot system to its operation by August 2018 and they had successfully carried out practical testings. Field Robotics is now using all the collected data to make some adjustments to the robot before carrying out many more application practical testings at the end of the year, preparing for the commercialization plan in 2020.