Scientists have created a robot that collects apples

An apple-picking robot by researchers at Monash University in Australia is already undergoing field trials. It only takes him 7 seconds to grab, remove and place the fruit in the basket.

An apple-picking robot created by researchers at Monash University in Australia is already undergoing field trials. It only takes him 7 seconds to grab, remove and place the fruit in the basket.

Like many industries around the world, Australia’s fruit picking sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a huge void in the labor market. it is usually filled by tourists who want to make money while traveling. Local researchers have come up with a creative partial solution to this problem by developing a fruit picking robot. He picks apples in orchards at high speed.

The robot uses a combination of cameras and deep learning algorithms to scan trees in the garden and locate fruit fragments. To do this, it processes information about their shape and the location of the stem-branch junction to minimize damage to the tree and surrounding foliage.

The robot picks apples using a specially designed soft gripper with pneumatic drive and four independently operated fingers and a suction system. It removes apples effectively, minimizing damage to the fruit and the tree itself.

The new robot identifies more than 90% of apples in the field of view of its camera and at a distance of about 1.2 m. By the way, the machine works in any light and weather conditions, and it takes less than 200 milliseconds to process an apple image.

Researchers are field-testing their apple-picking robot this year. Engineers report that he damaged less than 6% of the “catch” by accidentally removing apple stems (although such fruits may still be sold by some retailers).

When the machine was running at half speed, it detected, picked, and laid an apple every 12.6 seconds. The optimization of the fruit picking and stacking process has reduced the time to 9 seconds. In the end, the robot did it at full power in 7 seconds – that much time was spent on one apple.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
Function: Web Developer and Editor
Alexandr Ivanov

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