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“BERRY” robot improving its navigation and harvesting speeds

Automated strawberry harvesting to come in 2023

“We have improved the cluster navigation for more difficult situations of navigating through tight spaces. We have also improved the picking aspect,” says Hannah Brown, chief communications officer at Organifarms.

Organifarms revealed “Berry,” its strawberry harvesting robot, at GreenTech in 2022 and won the GreenTech Innovation Award in the concept category. Since then, the company has continuously worked to improve the robot and develop the minimal viable product (MVP). As Hannah explains, the robot now moves more quickly but is not yet at its final speed; this will be optimized during the winter. “Berry” also now has improved storage capacity and can store four crates (up to 20 kg of fruit) before dropping off its payload. The company continues to develop the robot’s navigation skills to ensure that it can effectively maneuver in the plant canopy to harvest fruit without damaging stems and leaves.

“Our robot can now change rows autonomously, which it couldn’t do at the time of its introduction. We are still working on the picking speed and are aiming for 10 kg per hour, including all driving time and crate exchanges. And our battery will be able to run 12 hours,” explains Hannah.

Collaborating with Delphy and signing first clients
Organifarms has collaborated with Delphy to test “Berry” at the research center over an entire season and with different strawberry varieties. This was part of a larger project with various partners looking to optimize the production of everbearing varieties through automation. The company is still running trials in Germany and welcomes any growers interested in participating. Otherwise, Organifarms is poised to introduce “Berry” to the market in 2023 and has already secured its first customers.

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