How are robots doing in greenhouse horticulture?

There is also a lot going on around this subject where greenhouse horticulture is concerned. Robots are being developed for picking tomatoes, various crop operations such as leaf pruning and pollination. Work is also being done on systems that can predict tomato) harvests and that can take measurements of crops. All these data and measurements are important for the grower to be able to manage their crop in the greenhouse as effectively as possible. A good number of companies are invested in this around the world. See, for example, the “development map of greenhouse robotics”.

Yet for the grower, it is not all that clear which robot they should buy. There is not yet one that is 100% ready and can do all the work that people do. Still, it is essential that growers and tech developers start working together in order to take the final steps in developing a robot that can pick, count, detect and predict.

The World Horti Center in the Dutch city of Naaldwijk is organizing an event on November 24 and 25 on the theme of robotics and autonomous cultivation in greenhouse horticulture to help ensure that tech, horticulturalists and scientists can find each other. The themes “Today” and “Tomorrow” will be used to build and strengthen the ecosystem surrounding the development of horticultural robots. This will be done by presenting inspiring stories, examples from other sectors and by organizing matchmaking sessions between the various parties.

The report ‘Strijd om agrarische robots barst los‘ (‘Battle for agricultural robots erupts‘), published last year by the ABNAMRO Group, provides a large number of examples. This report is largely based on the use of robots in cattle breeding, arable farming, and outdoor crops. Among the frontrunners is the company Lely, which is a global leader in the development of the milking robot. Meanwhile, they have also developed robots for various other parts of dairy farming.

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