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Tevel Autonomous Fruit Harvesting Bots – produce pickers face a fruitless future

Fruit harvesting is one of the trickiest parts of the agricultural spectrum. The fruit not only has to be selected when it’s at the ideal ripeness, but also has to be picked very carefully so it doesn’t bruise or suffer damage. Now Israeli made Tevel fruit harvesting bots promise to revolutionize the process of fruit harvesting in a big way.

The technology, which integrates A.I. based computer vision with clever vacuum based drone technology, offers fruit farmers a perfect way to tackle labor shortages and harvesting emergencies. The system comes with its own motorized transport system and hoppers, as well as remote reporting which gives the farmer instant updates on the amount of fruit that’s been collected. It can even report on potential disease and ripeness through color.

The robots can collect a variety of different types of fruit, including apples, plums, pears and peaches, and can collect from 50g to 700g in fruit weight per item. The reporting system, which can be beamed to mobile phones or tablets, gives details on metrics such as the total amount of fruit picked, the weight & size of each fruit, the color, a timestamp and geolocation. This gives the farmer a complete overall of the production of their orchards and areas which may need help.

On the one hand, this is really good news for the food security issues we’re likely to be facing in the future, as it will be able to maximize yields and lower costs. However, we can’t help but wonder what happens when all the manual labor in the world gets taken over by AI and robots. Who’s going to be able to afford to buy all this produce? We’re going to have to deal with it sooner rather than later.

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