Robot automatically harvests pepper

[2016-03-03] On February 15th-17th, 2016 the SWEEPER consortium held its 3rd general meeting at the University of Umeå in Sweden. Partners presented their progress after the first year of research and development.

The aim of the project is to develop a robot that automatically harvests pepper in greenhouses. Umeå University works on the top-level control of the robot and has developed a framework that integrates work from the other project partners.

Umeå is also responsible for motion control of the robot and gripper, and uses simulations and real-time control to develop algorithms that move the gripper to the fruit and then detach them from the bush.

Ben Gurion University works on detection of fruit in camera images, using computer vision methodology. For this work, both universities have a robot arm available in their laboratories. The industrial partner Irmato, who will commercialize the research results, has assembled a basic version of the sweet pepper robot, including a robot arm, a mobile platform and a gripper. Currently this robot is placed in the laboratory of Wageningen University and Research Center.

New software from the Umeå and Ben Gurion University will gradually be integrated in order to deliver a basic version able to pick sweet pepper. Once the functional tests show that the robot is able to harvest artificial crop, it will be transferred to the commercial greenhouse Tuindershoek in the Netherlands in spring 2016. The Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt in Belgium has evaluated and selected the most suitable sweet pepper variety.

In the continued work, the basic version of the robot will be evaluated and guide the continued development of an advanced version which will be ready by the end of the project in two year's time.

Photo on top: Researchers Peter Hohnloser, Ola Ringdahl and Thomas Hellström.

Photo below: On February 15th-17th, 2016 the SWEEPER consortium held its 3rd general meeting at the University of Umeå in Sweden.

Editor: Mikael Hansson

Link to news:
http://www.cs.umu.se/english/news//.cid264195