Agri robots for very fast vegetables and very weak fruits

By 2021, more than half of the market has yet to be conquered by gardening robots. However, the year is not over and the plan has not changed, said Harry Sconeville, director of VDL ETG projects. Robots in fruits and vegetables should replace Eastern European contractors (currently in short supply).

CropTeq CDL 10 cuts an average of ten cookie leaves per minute. The robotic version of the robot is scheduled to enter the market in the fourth quarter. The current model has now reached the third and final test stage – the main test. “First, we test each sub-system individually under controlled conditions. There is always something in the greenhouse. A hot day, a leak or a blocked passage, you name it. ”And have no time for delays on VDL. By the end of September, the company wants to offer the most complete version of Creteq in Grentek. VDL already wanted to live with us, but Corona dropped it here in Spain as well.

It is difficult to set a schedule for the future. But next year Schonewille hopes to sell at least 100 robots. Before that, about ten crocodiles will take over the Dutch cucumber greenhouse by storm later this year. Schonewille expects Dutch investment in robots to be gradual. In countries like the United States, greenhouses are many times more expensive and investments come suddenly. Investments in horticultural farmers there are crucial to the success of horticulture around the world.

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Interaction between AI and mechanics

Cropteq development was not without challenges. Not at least because it’s a new product. “It is not a mechanically complex vehicle. In fact, it is the only car that runs around the greenhouse. But the interaction between mechanics, AI, and plants complicates matters. We are now working on this fourth generation Influencer, And we have not yet entered the market. ”Add a green area that is constantly changing, and then the test is over. The VDL agri robot was originally designed to cut leaves from a cucumber plant. An important function, because when the leaves are small, is that the fruit has a lot of room to grow and the yield is high.

The Cropteq CDL 10. Image: VDL

Pumpkins, a hard crop

It is not an easy task, as pumpkins grow up to 70 inches[70 cm]in a week. So Crotech should be able to look at the area in detail and know what it can ‘see’. When cutting leaves, the robot wants to see the difference between the stem, the stem (where the leaves are cut) and the leaf. “We divide the stem and leaves into straws and use these to build a model of a plant. Therefore, the crocodile can recognize the leaf, not by its shape, but by its pixel structure. That way, it can distinguish between different parts. ”

In addition, the agri robot must also be able to identify and respond to various situations in the greenhouse. For example, one passage may hold more sun than another. In one greenhouse, the improved seed grows in a slightly different kind of kitchen. Or a farmer A It uses a different method than the developer B, So the branches can grow together or grow a little differently.

The robot acts as a source of information

According to Sconville, an agro-robot can provide many benefits to gardeners in a greenhouse. There is no shortage of workers, a better harvest and less chance of transmitting the virus to the greenhouse. The robot also acts as a data generator. “Farmers can improve and improve their process by using all the data the robot collects. This is gold in the hands of gardeners. ”

Currently, VDL still focuses on leaf cutting, but in the future they will also have influencers who can harvest pumpkins, properly spray, and identify and eliminate insects. Lots of plans. But first, Schonewille wants to make this robot a success. As far as he knows, only a handful of companies have been given leaves to cook. Moreover, almost all agro-robots are still in development. So, Schonewille is not worried about the race for the time being.

The weakest fruit in the world

They focus on cutting VDL, and work is being done in the UK on the world’s weakest fruit-bearing robot. “If our robot can pick strawberries, it can pick anything,” says Rui Andres, chief executive of Fieldwork Robotics. For example, in order to turn into a strawberry, the robot only needs a special container. The basics are the same. “This separates us from the competition. As far as I know, when they change crops, they have to rebuild their entire machines.

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Field Robots’ Agri Robot at Work. Image – Field work robots

One of these robots is currently roaming the greenhouse in England. The robot will work for a few weeks, then we will return it to our workshop, make improvements and send it back to the field. Like VDL’s Cropteq, this robot is in the final, critical test phase.

The robot is slower than a contract worker, but it can still compete with the labor force and is cost-effective. Andres sees that most races choose to speed up, but field robots have a different strategy. “The robot may not be fast, but it can work day and night and is extremely careful. Price and quality are two of the most important factors among gardeners, and ours is the extension. A careless robot will not turn it into a strawberry greenhouse. ”When it comes to choosing robots for robots, there is an expensive little real competition. Andres knows that strawberries are more popular – and lighter – for the oil companies.

Soft robots

Raspberries are held in place by wires. This easily increases the level of difficulty in the loading arm, which is easily attached to these wires. According to Martin Stolen, founder of Fieldwork Robotics, soft robotics can be used in two ways to prevent baptisms. “First, in his hand, to make sure the robot does not destroy the environment. But also in the way the robot bears fruit. In order not to damage the strawberries, we use soft parts in all parts of our robots. Another clever invention – the hands on the robot can work with each other individually. That way you can get your hands on picking and sorting brakes for various supermarkets. Staying cautious is always number one, Stalin acknowledged. Otherwise, farmers will not need our high-tech technologies in the greenhouse.

Field robotic timelines are similar to VDL. In the next few months, up to six robots are expanding in the field. They plan to produce more next year. If it is up to these companies, picking robots will truly conquer the garden world. So be a little more patient.

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