AGV-mounted cobot from Dobot knows when and how to pick strawberries

According to Dobot, it is an easy-to-use contraption with multiple safety design features, meaning it is suited to various human-robot collaboration scenarios.

Shenzhen-based Dobot (越疆科技), a leader in the global cobot market, recently introduced a picking robot to help strawberry farmers automate the picking process and increase the efficiency.

Traditionally, strawberries are picked by hand, which amounts to a low output and high rate of wastage.

Besides, it’s hard for human pickers to decide if a strawberry is ripe enough for consumption, which leads to inconsistent quality.

Nova, a product series released by Dobot, is equipped with a series of cutting-edge technologies to help innovate the way strawberries are harvested.

It comes with a 3D vision camera that captures key data related to a strawberry’s status, including its color, shape and size.

The built-in AI modules then performs a chromatographic analysis of the fruit to determine the level of its ripeness.

Afterward, the cobot extends an arm and guides it to pick the ripe berry with precision.

Minimal damage to the fruit

Nova bears similarity to experienced pickers as it possesses navigation technologies to assess the position of a strawberry.

A gripper mounted at the end of the robotic arm will adjust itself into the optimal angle to pick the fruit.

Images courtesy of Cobot

This helps minimize damage to the surface of the berry.

Sitting on an automated guided vehicle, Nova maps an orchard on the basis of SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) technology as it moves around.

This allows it to detect its surroundings, navigate autonomously and avoid obstacles.

What’s also special about Nova is that it is capable of moving across rough terrain to complete the picking task.

Nova not just enhances efficiency during the strawberry harvest but also reduces wastage, resulting in a higher yield and income for farm owners.

Built for commercial use

Nova is a lightweight cobot built specially for commercial application.

Available in two versions (Nova 2 and Nova 5), it weighs in at 11kg and 14kg, as well as a payload of 2kg and 5kg, respectively.

According to Dobot, it is an easy-to-use contraption with multiple safety design features, meaning it is suited to various human-robot collaboration scenarios.

They include brewing coffee and tea, making ice cream and popcorn, in-restaurant food delivery, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy and ultrasound scan.

Dobot has established a foothold in more than 100 countries, with shipments totaling nearly 70,000 units.

It has ranked first in China’s industrial robot exports for five consecutive years, and has emerged in recent years as a leader in the lightweight cobot segment worldwide.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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