Reports from Germany suggest that automatic brassica harvesting, a long held dream for many in the industry, could be one step closer thanks to new work by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF and their colleagues at ai-solution GmbH together with five other partners.
They are working on a smart harvester which it is claimed will be as selective as human pickers. The so-called VitaPanther builds on the ‘Spargelpanther’ asparagus harvesting machine developed by a previous project, with the team aiming to complete a working prototype in time for next year (2017).
Fraunhofer IFF are working on hyper spectral camera technology and programming which will ensure that the machine picks the mature and ripe crops while ai-solution GmbH in Wolfsburg are working on the actual harvester unit.
Christian Bornstein, CEO of ai-solution GmbH, explained, “Our goal is to build a module that can be adapted to the existing unit.” Farmers will only have to purchase one “vegetable harvester” in the future.
Photo Caption: The ‘Spargelpanther’ asparagus harvester.
Photo Credit: ai-solution