Wouter Bac, a former PhD student at the Farm Technology group, and his colleagues at TechNature have developed a machine that sorts sprouts at a very high rate. Technicians at the company built this sorting machine (the SproutCam) at the request of growers, as they have difficulty finding manpower to sort sprouts on an assembly line.
The new sorting machine takes over this work and uses several cameras to accurately distinguish between the sprouts. During the development of the device, David Rapado Rincon, an MSc student in the Biosystems Engineering programme, helped develop the image recognition of flaws on sprouts. The machine recognises these flaws and removes sprouts with rotten spots or yellow and purple discoloration.
Furthermore, a grower can sort more customer-oriented by, for example, adjusting the machine more sharply for sprouts that are packed in a flow pack. Currently, about half of the growers have a SproutCam and they have become less dependent on scarce labor for sorting work.