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.