Apple picking is a labor intensive job with high costs for farmers and without enough laborers to do it. A solution to this problem was developed by the engineers and scientists from Washington State University and consists of an apple-picking robot.
The robot is gentle enough to pick apples as efficiently as people and fast enough to make the job economically viable for farmers and commercial use. The robot is not just delicate with the fruit; it is also maneuverable enough to operate around obstructions, tree branches and leaves.
The apple-picking arm can do this job for about 95 to 98 percent. The remaining 2 percent is done with the help of a human operator.
An advanced vision system that incorporates cameras and sensors work in congruence with the arm and hand to grasp and twist the fruit from the tree. The vision system is designed to differentiate and locate the fruit in the tree. It uses three different features of the fruit: color, shape, and texture.