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A novel vision based orchard system to maximize fruit tree yields and Class 1 quality by 20% while reducing waste by 50%

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OrchardMan (A novel vision based orchard system to maximize fruit tree yields and Class 1 quality by 20% whilereducing waste by 50%)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2015-11-30

The overall innovation project is intended to bring our novel ‘OrchardMan’ vision-based tree-fruit measurement technology to European market-readiness. This will provide in-field data based on cost-effective image capture technology and novel image processing algorithms, which can identify commercially relevant yield factors such as fruit size, growth and tree architecture automatically in the difficult environment of the orchard under variable weather and lighting conditions. The project will demonstrate that that the developed system has the capability to support precision horticultural management at the single tree level, reducing waste from growing undersize fruit by up to 50%, and increasing overall tree yields by up to 20%, This would give European users a cumulative benefit of €1bn from 500 units implemented over the first five years.

This work is relevant to topic SFS-08-2014-1: “Resource efficient, eco-innovative food production and processing”, particularly optimization of current food production systems, in the SME sector, with the aim of reducing water and energy use and waste generation, and improving food quality, through the improving growers’ ability to increase overall fruit yield per tree and the percentage of Class 1 quality reducing quality-reject waste, and reduction of imports, reducing transport CO2.

There are techno-economic uncertainties that we must clarify before investing in a full development project, so we need to carry out a thorough feasibility study, including the business plan for the phase 2 development and subsequent commercialisation.
The single deliverable from the 6 month phase 1 project is the feasibility study and business plan. This has been completed.
The expected result from the phase 1 project is the feasibility report on the Orchardman technology. There are no other impacts to report from the project so far.