Today, labour is the largest cost factor of a modern greenhouse holding. More than 30% of the total production costs are spent on wages for the grower and his employees. Obviously, to cope with saturating market demands and increasing competition, the grower is looking for ways to improve the over-all efficiency of the production process. Manual labour in a greenhouse is demanding, especially under poor climatic conditions. Because the robots reported in literature were not suited for the high productivity growing systems used in Dutch horticultural practice, in 1996, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture began research on the development of an autonomous cucumber harvesting robot supported by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. The task of designing robots for agricultural applications raises issues not encountered in other industries. The robot has to operate in a highly unstructured environment in which no two scenes are the same. Both crop and fruit are prone to mechanical damage and should be handled with care. The robot has to operate under adverse climatic conditions, such as high relative humidity and temperature as well as changing light conditions. The robot detects individual cucumbers, assesses theri ripeness and harvest the ripe cucumbers. During greenhouse experiments 95% of the ripe cucumbers were detected and 75% were harvested. The project was finished in 2002.
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.