Building a strawberry-picking robot

Wish Farms, outside of Plant City, Florida, grows strawberries on 600 acres. The ripe berries have all been handpicked by a seasonal workforce over 600 strong — mostly coming from south of the border. But labor is getting hard to find. The solution? Build a strawberry-picking robot. Gary Wishnatzki, the owner of Wish Farms, joined others in forming a tech startup called Harvest CROO (Computerized Robotic Optimized Obtainer)

Converging technologies — artificial intelligence (A.I), robotics, G.P.S, machine vision — have made it possible. The result is called Berry 5.1 — a 25,000-pound, 30 foot-long behemoth built to match the pace of 30 pickers. It has cost $10 million to develop. (In the meantime, billions are being spent on a wall to keep swarms of migrants, desperate for work, out.)

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