Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering
Refereed Article in a scientific journal
The primary step in the process of developing a picking robot is to define its specifications. Then, a decision on whether the robot should move along the plants or the plants to move along the robot has to be made. Other aspects dealing with the economics of the robot (investment and annual costs), working time and required picking speed are decided on. This paper addresses these questions and concludes that a picking robot will be more feasible in a traditional stationary production system than in mobile production systems. For a 2 ha nursery, approximately 8 robots working 12 h a day with a picking speed of one fruit per 3 seconds, are needed to cover the main work load involved in harvesting tomatoes throughout the year. Hence, the room for investment per robot amounts to NLG 89,000. Based on these findings, this paper presents a technological concept of a picking robot for fruit vegetables.
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