Strawberry-picking Robots – doing a job humans won’t

Strawberry-picking Robots

Strawberry-picking Robots – doing the job humans don’t want to do

Strawberry picking season is well under way.  But migrant labour in short supply in several countries. This is a look at how robots being developed around the world. They help producers harvest this most popular fruit.

Next time you buy strawberries take a look a good look in the punnet. Do the berries still have the stem attached? Has it been plucked off leaving only the green hat of leaves called the calyx?

You may not think that matters.  But it’s a key consideration for growers as they contemplate the merits of a range of robotic prototypes. They promise to pick strawberries as fast and as carefully as humans.

Whether the berry is plucked or whether the stalk is snipped through and kept attached is one critical difference between the concepts that Spanish, Belgian, British and US engineers are testing, ready to roll out in fields as soon as next year.

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