Friday, 21 Oct, 2011 Technology

Latest Invention: Robotic System Detects Ripe Strawberries and Collects Them


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Engineers around the world are continuously working on various machines that would replace humans in certain fields and one of these fields is agriculture, where we already witnessed the appearance of such technologies as autonomous tractor.

Recently a team of British researchers from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) said that is currently working on a system that will be able to detect ripe strawberries in the field.

Researchers started their projects in 2009 when the initial goal was to come up with a similar system that could be used with cauliflowers. Despite the fact that the project was reported as successful, the demand was low enough to halt further development. Since then the team began reviving the system, making certain improvement so their invention could be used with other crops.

Strawberries turned out to be well-suited to scientists' innovation. This is mainly because their high water content and dry leaves made them easier to detect and collect.

With the help of radio frequencies, microwaves, IR light and terahertz radiation the system is able to non-invasively spot strawberries beneath the surface and see which are ripe enough to be picked.

[via NPL]

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