“Fieldwork Robotics, a spinout company from the University of Plymouth, has completed initial field trials of a new raspberry-harvesting robot – the first machine of its kind in the world. Hall Hunter, which supplies some of the UK’s biggest food retailers including Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose, conducted the tests at a farm it owns in West Sussex.
The robot uses a combination of 3D cameras, sensors and machine learning to “see” and identify objects. A mechanical arm then moves forward with a pair of grippers to gently pick a raspberry, applying the correct amount of pressure. The fruit is deposited in a tray, sorted by maturity and placed in a box ready for transportation to a supermarket. The wheeled machine, which stands 1.8 metres tall, then moves onto the next clump of fruit…”