RoLand Strawberry Picking Robot Harvesting Fruit
Photo credit: Annemarie Popp, DFKI GmbH
Researchers from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence unveil RoLand, a strawberry-picking robot that aims to make harvesting the fruit easier. It’s capable of operating in an open field while ancillary systems such as UV lamps, mechanical “weed pickers”, or a pest collector offer further opportunities to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides.



Without requiring harvest workers, this robotic system is able to continue harvesting the crop at night in addition to the day shift. Nighttime use means that the fruit would be harvested at cooler temperatures and thus suffer less damage. Plus, the artificial lighting required at night to detect the fruit provides more stable conditions for the image-processing algorithms, resulting in a fresh batch of fruit that is ready for delivery by early morning.

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RoLand Strawberry Picking Robot Harvesting Fruit
Credit: Mahdi Javadi, DFKI GmbH

The robot control system is expected to be based on open source software such as the ROS framework or the Rock framework, which was significantly developed at DFKI. The interfaces to the system will thus be open and can also be reused within the GAIA-X ecosystem,” said the researchers.

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