by monitoring plant's emitted info, scientists can develop a 'Tomato Language'.

Update on pepper harvesting robot & the language of the tomato plant

How are things with the broccoli and pepper harvesting robots? Which languages are spoken by tomatoes? These and more questions were discussed during GrowNovation at Priva last week.

GrowNovation is an initiative of Horticulture Digital. At the meeting, the digitization of the grower is key. The meeting took place at Priva in De Lier.

Meiny Prins on digitization as a means, not an end.

Erik Pekkeriet of WUR with Harrij Schmeitz

Paprika Harvesting Robot
Erik Pekkeriet from WUR gave an update on the ‘vision technologies'. One of the most striking examples is the bell pepper harvesting machine. In the second and third years, much attention has been paid to improving the sensors and in January, a new robot was ready to be released into the greenhouse. "A simplified model, but still complicated enough," laughs Pekkeriet. The next six months will be devoted to the harvest of peppers in practice and the potential problems that emerge. The goal of the project is not to develop a commercially interesting machine, but to gain knowledge. 

Olaf van Kooten on the language of tomatoes.

The secret language of tomatoes 
Olaf van Kooten of InHolland spoke about the steps that have been made in crop management. By monitoring what information are emitted by plants, scientists can develop a 'Tomato Language'.

The next two years, this research continues in the Demokwekerij Westland, but also in Spain and Italy. The outcomes should make connections between the understanding of growers and crop results.

The Picknpack project is explained by Gert Kootstra. In the European project flexible packaging lines are examined. Picknpack investigates how robots can be used to simplify packing without high import costs. 

In the second pitch Peter Kamp of Priva got the opportunity to explain how Priva works with plant-based control in the greenhouse and to introduce the TopCrop-system. In the TopCrop-system, growers can guide the crops using the evaporation of the plant. This creates a system in which the cultivation results, the quality and yield of the crop are manageable. 

Three pitches: Digna van Zanten, Ton van der Voort, and Ruud Barth (right).

Tailor-made transport
The third pitch was by Digna van Zanten of WPS Horti Systems. The new system is geared to users building their own transportation program through a wireless network and control panels. This not only means that fewer cables and installation costs are necessary, but also that the user can install, cultivate and manage the system himself.

Broccoli-harvesting robot
The Broccoli-harvesting robot by Agritronics might already put into use next year, according to Ruud Barth of the WUR. The machine makes recordings of the crop, and harvests the broccoli with a diameter of 13 inches and 500 grams. “The machine can now correctly assess the quality of crops in 83% of the case. Existing machines have a 78% accuracy at most," says Barth. 

Geo-driven tools
The last pitch was held by Ton van der Voort of Kverneland. Agricultural machinery is working with GPS and Wi-Fi, so as not to damage plants. But that's not all, said Van der Voort. "The future is in machines with an IP address and Wi-Fi." Apps on the machines make accurate control possible, and in case of defects or maintenance the supplier will be briefed automatically.

The event was hosted by Harrij Schmetz of TuinbouwDigitaal.

The full presentations will be published on the website of TuinbouwDigitaal the coming days.

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