🍏 A flying robot picks fruits when they are perfectly ripe
An AI-controlled drone with a grab arm should be able to fly around orchards and pick fruit around the clock during the harvest season.
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Picking fruit is a very tiring job for those who are forced to do it day in and day out. This makes it difficult to find people who want to work as fruit pickers . Now Tevel Aerobotics Technologies hopes that their FAR robot will be able to help with the picking .
FAR is an autonomous drone that can fly around among fruit trees and pick fruits with a grab arm. It is possible to use many robots on a cultivation without problems. All robots are controlled by an AI that ensures that they do not collide with each other or other obstacles, such as humans and trees.
Now good fruit pickers do not pick all the fruits they see. Instead, they judge whether the fruit is ripe or not. Unripe fruit can not be sold and overripe fruit growers pay much less for. Fruit picked two weeks late can lose 80 percent of its value.
Tevel has therefore also trained the AI to recognize when a fruit is perfectly ripe. The AI has also learned to control the gripper arm so that it can pick different types of fruit without damaging them.
Now the robot may have problems accessing some difficult places so it is not intended to completely replace human pickers. According to Tevel, their goal is instead to create a complement that covers up for pickers who are needed, but who are simply not available to hire.
According to TV's estimates, there will be a shortage of five million fruit pickers by 2050. This is because humanity is growing and needs more fruit, while the number of people who can imagine working with fruit picking is decreasing.
FAR is still a prototype, but Tevel will now start pilot projects in the USA, Spain and Italy. If those projects turn out well, we may soon see robots flying around among the fruit trees and picking perfectly ripe fruits for us.
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