Autonomous broccoli harvesting robot wins Silver Agritechnica Innovation Award

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The RoboVeg Robotti broccoli harvester has been announced as the winner of DLG’s Agritechnica Innovation Silver Medal Award – a joint venture between Agro Intelligence ApS, in Denmark and RoboVeg Ltd.

RoboVeg Robotti has combined a high-performance Agro Intelligence ApS field robot with the broccoli harvesting robot from RoboVeg Ltd. The Robotti field robot operates with two engines that deliver a total output of 104 kW. 40 kW of this output can be tapped off at the power take-off shaft.

The lifting mechanism has a lifting power of 750 kg. The RoboVeg is equipped with high-resolution 2D cameras and 3D sensors. Two robot arms that can be swivelled around six axes undertake autonomous broccoli harvesting. A robot arm requires approximately three seconds from selecting the broccoli on the field to putting it down. Its harvesting performance is around 2,400 units per hour, whereas performances of only around 300-360 units per hour and worker are achieved in manual harvesting.

While autonomous robots are already available and used for sowing, weed control and harrowing, automating harvesting has not proved possible until now. The RoboVeg Robotti is the first autonomous system for harvesting broccoli and therefore contributes to significantly improving productivity. For the growers, this represents increases in efficiency and reduced costs.

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Chris McCullough is a freelance multi-media journalist based in Northern Ireland and has spent the past 18 years travelling the globe hunting for the best stories in food, farming and politics. Chris has won a number of awards for his photos and journalism and is always on the lookout for his next exclusive.

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