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Much achieved in European robotics project CROPS

Published on
November 4, 2013

The EU project CROPS (Clever Robots for Crops), that focuses on robot developments for high-quality fruit and vegetable products, soon starts her last year. Time for evaluation and developing exploitation plans. In three years in close collaboration with the European centers of excellence and industry much has been achieved. Wageningen UR, coordinator of this program, indicates that breakthrough technologies are developed on many fronts.

The 40 researchers working on the project all programmed in the same language and simulation environment. With the exploitation plans the project participants are aiming to bring knowledge to value including commercially viable applications.

Doorbraaktechnologie├źn in robotisering

It is possible on the basis of spectral analysis to discriminate between stem structures, fruit, top and bottom of leaves and also the ripeness of fruits can be determined. There is also a software platform that directly and effectively communicate between robot and vision systems. Robots can therefore be controlled with only a camera in hand. There are also new sensors used for 3D recognition in the Agro. A mini "Time of Flight" camera is smaller than the tip of the little finger but can generate very fast 3D images up to 30 frames per second combined with a colour image. Mechanical breakthroughs as the hand, the manipulator concept and intelligence may be seen.

In the last year Wageningen UR therefore invites parties to co-invest in the realization of applications. Wageningen indicates promising applications such as harvesting cucumbers and other fruit and vegetable operations, harvest flowers and tasks in sorting and packaging.