A Cambridge-based company has made significant step forwards in its development of a range of fruit harvesting robots to support the agriculture sector. The raspberry picking robots developed by Fieldwork Robotics have now been deployed commercially in two locations in Portugal.
The robots – fitted with four picking arms – are successfully working autonomously, with its sensor technology and grippers having been completely redesigned to reduce slippage and cut the harvesting time. As a result, the fruit being picked has passed all quality controls, with the company now working to further speed the picking process so that each robot can gather 2 kg of fruit per hour. It is also making progress in its efforts to drive down production costs, with changes in the materials used for the robots expected to cut costs by more than 20 per cent.
Fieldwork Robotics was launched in 2016 to develop and commercialize the work of Lecturer in Robotics Dr Martin Stoelen, and the company is now based at The Paddocks Business Centre in Cambridge.