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Top 5 -yesterday
- What not to do when starting a new crop
- “This is what we call hands-free cultivation"
- "Risk of E. coli in hydroponic and aquaponic systems may be greater than once thought"
- Corona-update: More than 26,000 Brits to pick fruit and veg in the UK
- "We are reaching our capacity, so I guess that’s our new baseline"
Top 5 -last week
- Houweling’s Tomatoes wins Ultra-Clima greenhouse court cases and is awarded first sub-licence
- Yesterday was a peculiar day in the horticultural world....
- First report of ToBRFV infecting sweet pepper in Italy
- At least 3 sources of ToBRFV in Dutch tomato cultivation
- Japanese autotech giant Denso invests in Certhon
Top 5 -last month
Canada: Automated mushroom harvester can change the industry
Commercial mushroom production is labour-intensive. Not only does a mushroom crop require many harvesting cycles, but the picking itself is a manual task, that can cause physical strain. Researchers and the industry have been investigating for a number of years the possibility of developing automated harvesting systems, but as mushrooms are susceptible to handling damage, a real solution has yet to be found. During our visit at Vineland, we were surprised to get a glimpse of one of the first successful automated mushroom harvesters.
The challenge of developing a reliable mushroom robot lies in the search of a machine that can harvest mushrooms with the same intelligence and dexterity as a human being. "It is more complex than we first anticipated," said Lana Culley, Vineland’s Business Development Director. "It is not simple to develop an intelligent system that is able to find a mushroom meeting the proper size requirements, as mushrooms grow continuously. We needed to build a “smart” harvesting system that ensures maximum yield and quality."
After taking a picture of the cultivation bed, the robot runs an analysis and decides which mushrooms to harvest.
For this reason, the Vineland team developed and has filed patent applications on its advanced algorithm and gripping systems.
After years of working on the robot, the team has developed an autonomous machine that is able to choose which mushroom to pick, process and move it gently to the desired packaging.
The robot’s software algorithm can decide when to pick a mushroom by analysing a number of factors.
The cycle to analyse the bed, crop and pick one mushroom takes six seconds. Using a proprietary gripper to pick the mushroom, the robot then cuts the stem and places the mushroom in a box.
The automated mushroom harvester, now moving to a second phase of development, has the potential to change traditional mushroom cultivation. "The cost of labour continues to drive the need to automate in horticulture and mushroom harvesting is a great target for our team," said Culley. "We believe our unique technologies could revolutionize the mushroom industry globally, not just in Canada."
With a domestic mushroom production of more than 100 million kilos, Canada is one of the largest mushroom producers in North America.
For more information:
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
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Other news in this sector:
- 2020-04-06 Growing interest from the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector in fogging disinfection
- 2020-04-02 "We enable responsible fruit and vegetable preservation"
- 2020-03-31 Spanish firm offers its ozone generators to help tackle COVID-19
- 2020-03-31 "A robot will not get sick and is immune to viruses"
- 2020-03-27 Bid on fruit and vegetables processing lines and machinery
- 2020-03-26 New technologies for salad washing
- 2020-03-23 RL40: linear system for filling and closing trays
- 2020-03-18 New internal transportation for KUBO
- 2020-03-16 UK: Bespoke autonomous guided vehicles designed for horticulture
- 2020-03-13 New sprout packing line installed at Drysdales
- 2020-03-12 UK: Bespoke autonomous guided vehicles designed for horticulture
- 2020-03-11 Fresh produce with different measurements in carton sleeves
- 2020-03-09 New packaging solution that degrades in 4 weeks
- 2020-03-03 “Packing operatives couldn’t keep up with the pace and it became quite a bottleneck"
- 2020-03-02 "We adapted our blueberry packaging machine for sustainable packaging"
- 2020-03-02 “Our packaging system reduces the volume of salad bags”
- 2020-02-27 Gewa 5000V enables kosher processing of salads and vegetables
- 2020-02-18 Sealable paper reams for VFFS machines
- 2020-02-18 Morocco: Dakhla to get US$11 million fruit and veg packing station
- 2020-02-18 New sizing machine for courgettes