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Sweet Pepper Harvesting Robot

Objective

In modern greenhouses there is a high demand to automate labour. The availability of a skilled workforce that accepts repetitive tasks in harsh greenhouse climate conditions is decreasing rapidly. The resulting increase in labour costs and reduced capacity puts major pressure on the competitiveness of the European greenhouse sector. Present robotization of this labour has entered an high level of technological readiness. However, a gap remains which halts the transition from science to economic and societal impact; the so called ‘Technological Innovation Gap’. In the EU-FP7-project CROPS extensive research has been performed on agricultural robotics. One of the applications was a sweet pepper harvesting robot. It was shown that such a robot is economically and technically viable. The proven hardware and software modules (TRL:6) developed in CROPS will be used as the groundwork. The successful CROPS software modules based on the Robotic-Operating-System (ROS) will be maintained and expanded in SWEEPER. Also the gripper end-effector will be retained. This patent pending module is able to grasp the sweet pepper without the need of an accurate measurement of the position and orientation of the fruit. From the CROPS project, also gained knowledge will directly be put to benefit. In several experiments, it turned out that different growers use different cropping systems ranging in crop density. In SWEEPER, the cropping system itself will be optimized to facilitate robotic harvesting. In CROPS it was concluded that instead of a 9DOF, a 4DOF robot arm is sufficient , greatly reducing costs. To improve the level of robotic cognitive abilities, plant models will be applied to approximate location of sweet peppers. This “model-based vision” will increase and speed up fruit detection. Based on the insights of CROPS, sensors will be placed onto the gripper only. Also a LightField sensor will be introduced which is able to record both colour and 3D information simultaneously.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/horticulture/fruit

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2014-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

IA - Innovation action

Coordinator

STICHTING WAGENINGEN RESEARCH
Address
Droevendaalsesteeg 4
6708 PB Wageningen
Netherlands
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 287 284,48

Participants (6)

UMEA UNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 876 375
Address
Universitetomradet
901 87 Umea
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
PROEFSTATION VOOR DE GROENTETEELT
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 558 386,63
Address
Duffelsesteenweg 101
2860 Sint-katelijne-waver
Activity type
Research Organisations
BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY OF THE NEGEV
Israel
EU contribution
€ 565 196,38
Address
.
84105 Beer Sheva
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
IRMATO INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS VEGHEL B.V.

Participation ended

Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 372 501,51
Address
Leeuwenhoeckweg 6
5466 AL Veghel
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
DE TUINDERSHOEK BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 105 192,50
Address
Tuindersweg 32
8271PK Ijsselmuiden
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
B&A AUTOMATION BVBA
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 263 375
Address
Hinnenboomstraat 1A
2320 Hoogstraten
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)