A team of European Union-funded researchers have developed a sweet pepper-harvesting robot that can help farmers reduce their costs.
The SWEEPER robot is an autonomous mobile platform with a robotic arm bearing an end effector for fruit harvesting. The robot is designed to operate in a single stem row cropping system, with a crop having non-clustered fruits and little leaf occlusion.
Preliminary tests showed that by using a commercially available crop modified to mimic the required conditions, the robot can harvest ripe bell peppers in 24 seconds with a success rate of 62%.
The researchers plan to add a conveyor belt and harvest trolley to the SWEEPER system, and to automate post-harvest fruit and vegetable picking logistics.
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