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University of Plymouth research
Robots to help Cornwall cauliflower growers
Robotics lecturer Dr Martin Stoelen invented the ‘GummiArm’ robot which moves more like a human than a machine, and has jointed arms which can be made soft or stiff, depending on if the task requires strength, or a more gentle touch.
Photos: University of Plymouth
Telegraph.co.uk reports how cameras and sensors in its dexterous fingers can also assess the crop as it grows, so it can determine exactly which vegetables to harvest, and which to leave.
Dr Stoelen: “Ultimately, machines such as this will make life easier and simpler as a farmer. Machines could even be ‘repurposed’ throughout the growing season, allowing the core technology to be rolled out to other operations – such as weeding or the application of pesticides. If the robot is reconfigurable, it could be relevant to other brassicas and indeed other crops. It’s also a cool technology which might encourage more young people to choose a career in agriculture.”
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