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Robotic Fruit Tree Harvester

Project description

Multi-arm fruit robot to pioneer the automation of fresh fruit harvesting

Even though machines have replaced human hands in a lot of farm jobs, fruit farming continues to rely on humans. However, this also leaves fresh fruit tree growers exposed to labour shortages as well as rising labour and production costs. What is more, between 10-15 % of a yield may be inadvertently bruised by human pickers. Automation in fresh fruit harvesting is now emerging as an alternative. The FFRobot, a pioneering multi-arm fruit harvesting robot, is fitted with computerised vision, image processing software and appropriate algorithms. It can move automatically among the orchard rows and pick a variety of fresh fruits without human involvement. The EU-funded ROBOHARVEST project will prepare for the robot's commercialisation by demonstrating its operative functionality and cost-efficiency.

Objective

Fresh fruit tree growers worldwide are increasingly burdened by the scarcity of human labour, rising labour costs, and overall production costs. This phenomenon is becoming more acute in light of regulatory restrictions, as well as constraints on import and temporary employment from less developed countries. Moreover, human pickers inadvertently bruise some of the fruit picked during the picking process. The result is loss of yield and profit to the fruit grower by up to 30%.

The need for automation in agriculture in general and in fresh fruit harvesting in particular has never been greater and we intend to
tap into this market with the launch of the FFRobot. We anticipate a market penetration rate of 3% of the TAM, amounting to
potential annual revenues of €240M.

The FFRobot is a revolutionary multi-arm fruit harvesting robot with specially developed computerized vision, image processing
software and dedicated algorithms. The FFRobot can move automatically amongst the orchard rows and pick apples and a variety of
different fresh fruit by emulating the human hand movement, all without human touch!

In the last submission we received a Seal of Excellence and a score of 13.88! We have since then reached a significant operational
milestone. Our main objective for this Phase 2 project is to bridge the gap from TRL 7 to full commercialisation of the FFRobot. To
achieve this, activities for this project will centre on: demonstrating the operative functionality of the multi-arm FFRobot (including
field trial tests); improving the cost effectiveness of the FFRobot; identifying and signing agreements with commercialisation
partners; and devising a viable short and long-term commercialisation and scale-up plan.

FFRobotics was founded in 2014 by Avi Kahani (CEO), with the vision of disrupting the fresh fruit harvesting market by automating
the fruit picking process from end-to-end. It is AgTech at its best, combining computer vision and robotics.

Call for proposal

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020

See other projects for this call

Sub call

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020-3

Coordinator

FFROBOTICS LTD
Net EU contribution
€ 2 149 878,50
Address
1, ITZHAK RABIN BLVD
4282300 Kadima Tzoran
Israel

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Total cost
€ 3 071 255,00