Videos: Robots in orchards
The robots are coming…to an orchard or field near you.
Robots, drones, and automation are part of the smart agriculture movement with the aim of creating the farms of the future.
Watch some of the robots in action…
Robotic apple harvester making headway (Good Fruit Grower, January 14, 2022)
Automatic fruit picker demonstration by FF Robotics (Good Fruit Grower, 2017)
Mechanical pollination trials on a commercial cherry crop (Good Fruit Grower, 2016)
Featuring WSU horticulturist Matthew Whiting at the Prosser-based WSU research orchard
LaserWeeder implement (Carbon Robotics, … » More …
Robot swarms, soft bots, and other robotic ideas
We’ve come a long way from clunky, claw-handed Robot from Lost in Space.
Robots have had industrial and entertainment uses for a number of years, but researchers at Washington State University are rethinking robots’ design, tasks, and collaboration with humans. From the tiniest self-powered robot to soft robots, fruit-picking bots, and swarms of small robots like bees that can search collapsed buildings, the very idea of what is a “robot” is changing.
The creation of the National Robotics Initiative in 2011 also pushed the field toward more collaborative robots (or co-robots), which are designed to work cooperatively with humans. The robots are no longer … » More …
Someone forgot about the fruit salad. When the refrigerator door opens, the sickly sweet aroma delivers a potent reminder. All the rotting apples, pears, and bananas in the bowl will need to be thrown out, and hopefully composted. It may seem insignificant, but that fruit salad represents a piece of the 40 percent of food wasted in the United States, about 20 pounds per person each month.
In recent years, food waste in this country and many other places around the world has grown not only in volume, but also in the collective consciousness. The numbers are staggering. Americans throw away an estimated $165 billion … » More …
Wood Takes Wing
The most complex chemistry lab on the planet is growing in your neighborhood. There might be a tree in your own backyard, cranking out chemicals as it converts sunlight to food, wards off pests, and circulates water and nutrients through it roots, branches, and leaves.
So diverse is the chemical compendium produced by trees that we get aspirin (willow bark is a natural source of salicylic acid and has been used to treat pain since ancient times), the ink Leonardo used in his notebooks (from leaf galls produced by wasp larvae), and natural antibacterials (the fiber in cedar chips is used to make hospital gowns).
… » More …