Sweeper robot for harvesting fruit.

Researchers have now developed an advanced harvesting robot that is designed to operate in a single stem row cropping system, with non-clustered fruits and little leaf occlusion.This robot harvests ripe fruits in 24 seconds with a success rate of 62 per cent.

The robot, named "Sweeper", picks methodically and accurately, said co-author Polina Kurtser from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, Israel.And when it's fully developed it will enable 24/7 harvesting.

One of the researchers said that Based upon these latest results, the "Sweeper" consortium expects that a commercial sweet pepper harvesting robot will be available within four to five years, and that the technology could be adapted for harvesting other crops.

This robot was introduced last week at the Research Station for Vegetable Production at St. Katelijne Waver in Belgium.

The team says that additional research is needed to increase the robot's work speed to reach a higher harvest success rate.

The team spearheaded efforts to improve the robot's ability to detect ripe produce using computer vision, and has played a role in defining the specifications of the robot's hardware and software interfaces, focusing on supervisory control activities.

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