Repetitive job to be replaced by robotic arm?
Amazing concepts to keep an eye on
I’m really keen on new technology. Greenhouse horticulture is in need of automation to maintain profitability. Unfortunately, there’s no sugar coating it some workers will be replaced, but it is either that or businesses will face closure. Many businesses will survive, as there will be demand from those who can afford fresh fruit and vegetables, but how does that help the people that won’t be able to afford NZ grown produce in the future?
Rules, regulations, food safety, health and safety, are all incredibly important, but the pressure and the costs, to run any horticulture operation, continue to grow faster than returns. Net profits are becoming strained. All of these costs actually lift the price the consumer is required to pay, it is a vicious cycle.
Greenhouse automation will provide some essential relief for business and will allow them to employ staff with different skill sets and to reduce health and safety risks to humans who may be carrying out repetitive tasks.
One exciting development I came across recently is the: Priva Kompano Deleaf-Line is the first product, worldwide, that provides growers with an economically viable fully automated alternative for manual deleafing of tomato crops.
It is worth while clicking the link scrolling down and reading the product information. One observation I noted in the video, the tomato plants were twisted, there were no clips on the stems of the plants. The robotic de-leafing machine may or may not suit every grower using clipping systems. Growers have preferred growing systems and if I was clipping rather than twisting tomato plants, I would ask Priva if the machine could work if clips were used. However, this is an amazing development and I applaud the efforts of Priva for this 1st generation product.
The next video demonstrates a vacuum system that appears to suck the leaf of the leaf stem.
The last video demonstrates a cherry tomato robot harvester is an amazing piece of equipment well worth viewing.