Development of fully automated harvesting and transportation robots with AI

A system of robots that harvest and transport crops on their own without human assistance has been developed for use in agricultural facilities such as smart farms.

The research team under Choi Tae-yong, principal researcher at the AI Robot Research Division’s Department of Robotics and Mechatronics of the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (President Park Sang-jin, hereinafter referred to as KIMM), an institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and ICT, has developed a multiple-robot system for harvesting crops. This technology can be used to help at agricultural sites where there is a noticeable shortage of manpower by harvesting crops through an automated system. This system also includes robots that use autonomous driving technology to then transport the harvested crops to loading docks.

KIMM’s new multiple-robot system for harvesting horticultural crops consists of harvesting robots and transfer robots. This technology is expected to help solve difficulties at agricultural sites, which are facing severe labor shortages recently, resulting in the inability to harvest crops after they have been farmed. By fully automating the harvesting and transporting processes of the entire farming facility, this technology demonstrates the possibility of unmanning not only harvesting but also various other labor-intensive tasks at agricultural sites.

Due to the complexity and high variability of the agricultural environment, an advanced level of skills is required when applying robot technologies. This is why research on robots for harvesting in facility farming has not been successful in proceeding past early levels of research. Previous robot technologies for harvesting crops were limited to implementing single-crop harvesting functions.

Read more at newswise.com


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