Quicker picker: WSU researcher wants to build apple-picking robot

wsu fruit picker

WSU researcher gets grant to develop an apple-picking robot. Prototype picture courtesy of Washington State University.

PROSSER — A researcher at Washington State University won a grant to develop a robot that picks apples at four times the rate of humans.

Manoj Karkee, assistant professor with WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, envisions a robot that reaches a dozen tentacles through the leaves of an apple tree to pick the fruit. The automated system would work alongside a field employee to determine how and when to pick the apples.

Karkee and his research team recently received a $548,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He believes the prototype will take three to five years to develop, and will be commercially available in 10 years.

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2 comments

  • what ever

    please please please make these reality, i would love to see all the migrant workers out of a job they are very very detrimental to are society's infrastructure !

    • Xuven

      This could go either way it could actually increase the demand for workers like the Cotten gin increased the demand for slaves.

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