2021-002 – Robot Related Aspects for Berry Harvesting

According to a USDA report, berries in the US reached a market value of $1.4 billion in 2015. This invention consists of an autonomous robotic system that was custom made for the grasping and harvesting of delicate vine-ripened berries. This system, being completely autonomous, allows the farmer to continue their daily task with no intervention with the robotic system. Problem Addressed by Invention: as demand increases with market value, the greatest risk to the berry industry is a growing shortage of human labor. Existing harvesting machines fabricated from rigid components rely on rough handling of the berry by either cutting the stem of the berry and catching the berry in a basket, which leaves an undesirable component from the vine that must still be removed later, shaking the berry, or using hard semi-compliant components to pick the berry, which inevitably damages the fragile berries during the harvesting process, in-turn limiting the potential for the fresh-market berry industry. Technology Ventures ventures@uark.edu 479-575-7243

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