Universal Logic Inc. (Universal) has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Agricultural Robotics LLC (ARL) to provide one hundred Neocortex® artificial intelligence systems for automation in agriculture.
ARL is a consortium of strawberry plant suppliers representing 80% of the strawberry nursery production in North America, producing five hundred million plants a year. The systems will provide 3D plant recognition and grasping, enabling robots to properly pick and pack sorted plants. This MOU represents part of ARL's multi-year effort to automate strawberry plant sorting, trimming and packing.
FIVE HUNDRED MILLION PLANTS PER YEAR
The partnership has successfully developed a plant sorter machine, combining Neocortex plant recognition with robotics. The MOU demonstrates ARL's intention for Neocortex artificial intelligence software to be an integral part of state-of-the-art automation solutions for plant handling in agriculture.
Hob Wubbena, Vice President for Universal Logic, stated: "Recognizing that no two plants are the same, the solution demonstrates the capability of Neocortex to handle extreme plant variability as well as robot grasping and path planning at high speeds. We are delighted to partner with ARL."
The Neocortex system automatically provides final quality assurance by grading the plants. In addition to enabling robotic sorting, it also determines the 3D position in real-time of each plant. This enables careful, high-speed robotic picking and packing for shipments. Once fully implemented, the systems will be handling five hundred million plants a year, which is 80% of the North American production. These ARL-produced plants produce 1.1 million tons of strawberry fruit annually.
Agricultural Robotics member, Elizabeth Elwood Ponce, who is Vice President of Lassen Canyon Nursery, stated: "By using industry-leading automation technology, Agriculture Robotics has developed a robotic solution using Neocortex that ensures cost-effective delivery of the highest quality strawberry plants in the market."