Robots take over Strawberry-Picking

Posted by joegreen on December 13th, 2019

There seem to some things in life that were once deemed as simple pleasures but are now either consumed by technology. Rather our time is consumed by technology and we don't pay attention to the simpler things. No one any longer remembers stealing mangoes from trees and running away after ringing a bell. And If all this fills you with nostalgia like us, read on.

"The strawberry patched served dual purpose. Kids too rowdy? Go weed the strawberries. Strawberry picking can be a little tricky. Strawberries like to grow all over the plant, both in plain sight on the periphery, and nestled in among the leaves by the stems. Strawberry plants grow "runners" and spread out of their own accord making walking among them a challenge of not stepping on nascent runners."- Anonymous on The Internet.

This was back in the 1980's when 'pick your own Strawberry Sunday' was famous across the UK and the USA. Back then, Strawberry picking was an incoming cash business because people picked themselves and farmers didn't have to invest in wage labor. But, now of course things have changed. Kids with rectangular boxes in their hand and moms and dads with their highly taxing jobs hardly have time to go on family weekend expeditions.

So, what happened to Strawberry Picking in the end? Obviously, it got taken over by robots. Here is the catch though, strawberry picking isn't a breeze for robots. Reason? A couple actually. Firstly, Strawberry grows on all the nooks and corners of the plant, making many of the buds inaccessible and hard to find. Secondly, they are delicate thus, robots need to go-easy with the berries, which is not really their forte.

But humans have a standard response to any Earth related robot problems, "If we made it to the moon, why can't we do this?" and with this started the surge of start-ups across the world that are trying to train their robots for the fine art of Strawberry picking. Some of them are Octinio, a Belgium-based start-up and Cambridge based Dogtooth.

Now, it is to see what the future of Strawberries holds.

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Joined: December 11th, 2019
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