A robotics breakthrough by product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants is set to boost productivity across the food chain – from the field to the warehouse. It paves the way for robots to take on complex picking and sorting tasks involving irregular organic items – sorting fruit and vegetables, for example, or locating and removing specific weeds among crops in a field. “Traditional robots struggle when it comes to adapting to deal with uncertainty,” said Chris Roberts, head of industrial robotics at Cambridge Consultants. “Our innovative blend of existing technologies and novel signal processing techniques has resulted in a radical new system design that is poised to disrupt the industry.”
By Steve Brachmann for IPWatchDog: More and more, the agricultural world is looking towards the mechanization of labor processes through robotics as a way of potentially increasing their productivity. Robotics was identified as a sector of investment growth in agricultural tech by an April 2014 white paper on agriculture technologies published by the entrepreneurship and education non-profit Kauffman Foundation. Robotics is a regular focus of ours here on IPWatchdog, most recently visited in our coverage of the incredible advancements in walking and jumping robotics pioneered by Boston Dynamics, a Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary. With American farmers already heavily involved in the regulatory conversation involving the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, we thought that it would be interesting to delve into the world of farming robotics and see the recent advances in that particular field. It’s important to understand first that the robotics being developed for commercial use on farms won’t be stand-alone humanoid units ranging through fields to pick crops. Any piece of hardware implementing an algorithm which automates some of the manual work of farming falls under this heading. One good example of this is the LettuceBot, a precision thinning technology which works to visually characterize plants in a lettuce row, identify which plants to keep and eliminating unwanted plants to optimize yield. The unit doesn’t move by itself but is guided along by a tractor instead. The technology has been developed by Blue River Technology of Sunnyvale, CA, a company which has attracted $13 million in investment between 2011 and 2014 to commercialize this product. The LettuceBot’s creators hope toprovide the technology as a third-party service to farm owners before manufacturing the unit for commercial sale. Cont'd...
Stony Brook University Helps Prepare Next Generation of Farmers by Introducing a Hydroponic 'Freight Farm' On Campus
Cited as 4th most environmentally responsible university* in 2015, SBU is first higher ed campus to get a Freight Farm.
Naturipe Farms challenges developers to invent the next generation automated blueberry harvesting system
A total of $250,000 USD in prize money to be awarded for a successful device or method that optimizes the quality and condition of harvested FRESH blueberries
Although farming has become mechanized, the evolution of agricultural techniques to include unmanned robots provides a unique opportunity.
Colby to provide insight on UAV technology as a tool for agriculture industry as an Advisory Board member for SPAR Point Group's 2015 Commercial UAV Expo
Trimble Launches NextSwath End-of-Row Turn Technology to Improve Operator Performance and Crop Yield for Agriculture
This efficient and consistent end-of-row turning saves time and increases productivity
From AGROBOT: AGB® manages a set of robotic manipulators able to locate and identify your strawberries, selecting them based on their size and degree of ripeness. This system analyzes your fruit one by one, and it is responsible for ordering cutting movements that guarantee accuracy, smoothness, and sensitivity in the strawberry treatment. The fruit, picked with the strictest hygiene conditions, is driven by our FlexConveyor System to the packaging area. Select the ripeness you would pick up. AGvision ® is an artificial vision system that identifies your fruit with maximum accuracy and consistency. Its advanced technology, implement in real time a protocol for morphological and color analysis which systematically return the ripeness of the fruit, discriminating exclusively those strawberries which meets the quality standards previously set by the farmer... ( more details )
Becomes Strategic Partner of Forbes Reinventing America: The AgTech Summit
Acquisition Enables Trimble to Provide Food Quality Inspection and Food Traceability to Producers, Distribution Centers and Retailers
Harvest CROO Robotics is developing and beginning to test an automated strawberry picker which will save strawberry growers time and money and revolutionize the way strawberries are harvested.
This year attendees can expect to see a lot of Ag focused drone systems and also enjoy interfacing with the people making them but that is not all. Our focus this year is on the "Drones, Data, Droids and Dirt."
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IPR Robotics offers a wide range of servo-driven 7th axis linear rails for industrial robots. These rails come in ten different sizes and are constructed from modular high strength extruded aluminum sections to handle payloads of 100 kg to 1600 kg or from steel to handle 2000 kg payloads. This variety of rail sizes allows each application to be sized correctly, controlling the space required and the price point. The drive train design of these rails utilizes helical gear-racks and is proven over 10 years to be repeatable and reliable, even in tough foundry applications.