Roboticists are creating crop-specific machines to harvest fruits and veggies, reports Matt Simon for Wired. There’s the robot that harvests lettuce with a knife made of water. Now comes the apple-picking robot, a metallic farmer that just graduated from R&D and won a job in a New Zealand orchard. Its deployment may be limited at the moment, sure, but it’s a glimpse at a future in which hyper-specialized robots help feed our growing species.
The robot (it’s thus far nameless, in case you were wondering), developed by Abundant Robotics, navigates the rows between apple trees using lidar, which paints the world with lasers, and images the fruits with machine vision.