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Fruit-Picking Robot Eve Ready to Harvest Apples Commercially, as Shortage of Workers Persists

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Eve, the fruit-picking robot.

Cameras on the end of the arm help the Annie robot detect apples on the tree.

Credit: Annie Brown/ABC Rural

Australian startup Ripe Robotics spent four years developing its autonomous fruit-picking robot Eve, which is processing apples in Victoria-based orchards owned by agribusiness Ardmona amid a labor shortage.

Ripe Robotics' Hunter Jay said Eve picks several hundred apples at a time, using cameras on its arms to "look at the tree, measure the size and color of the fruit, and if it's ready to be picked. Then the arm will reach in with a soft suction cup, use air to suck the fruit in and twist it off a tree, and then place it on the conveyor belt."

Engineers trained the robot to identify apples using a massive neural network composed of thousands of images.

From ABC News (Australia)
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