American engineers from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn State) have created a special robot that is designed to collect and trim grown mushrooms.
Now the mushroom sector is suffering from a shortage of labor. Engineers at Penn State set out to solve the problem by developing a special robot for picking mushrooms.
The robot itself is an electro-pneumatic device designed specifically for picking mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus). They are usually grown on special shelves. The robot collects mushrooms, working on several levels, cuts off the ends of the legs, and then puts them in a special box. The engineers reportedly plan to eventually add a machine vision system to the robot that would target individual mushrooms.
Recall that machine vision is the application of computer vision for industry and manufacturing. Machine vision systems use digital and smart cameras for this purpose, as well as image processing software to perform similar checks.
Now the prototype robot collects mushrooms using an adjustable pressure suction cup that locks onto the top of each mushroom head and then pulls it up. The authors of the development note that the system does not damage fragile mushrooms.