Posted in | News | Agricultural Robotics

Ben-Gurion University Receives Sponsorship for Robotics Project

Scientists at the Ben-Gurion University (BGU) have received funding worth $1.3 million for building innovative algorithms that can make robots to sense and harvest profitable crops like orchard fruits, greenhouse peppers and high quality grapes.

This project comes under the European Union Seventh Framework Program (FP7) ‘Clever Robots for Crops’ (cRops). The program is focused on building scientific knowledge and robotic archetype systems for picking crops of high value.

The cRops robotic platform will offer spraying on selected targets like plants and other specified sites. It also selectively harvests high quality fruits. After identifying the fruit, the robot will sense if it has fully grown and then will gently pick the mature fruit.

Yael Edan, Project Leader and Professor of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management of BGU, has stated that a farming robot must be highly intelligent to effectively work in the adverse and constantly changing agricultural environment. He added that they are building a self-guided robotic platform that can precisely and competently determine, which yield has to be harvested first and omit the ones that are not yet ready for harvesting.

The cRops Consortium budget is meant for building a highly modifiable and intelligent robotic platform, featuring carrier plus modular parallel manipulators as well as sophisticated devices like sensors, grippers and sprayers. The devices can be included in the carrier and can easily accustom to new situations and operations.

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