Farmers in Cornwall, UK, test a robot – developed with European funds – that can harvest cauliflower from the field. The robot works just like a human hand that grabs the vegetable and decides whether it is ready for harvest, writes Daily Mail.
The GummiArm robot will be the response to the immigration staff crisis that could trigger the outbreak of Britain in the European Union. The robotic arm that harvested cauliflower was made by Dr. Martin Stoelen of the University of Plymouth. "Many manufacturers are very worried that physical work is ever more expensive – and they have every right to be that way," says Stoelen.
"Manual harvesting accounts for much of their total cost, up to 50% and in the context of Brexit, the situation may be difficult," the inventor explains. Cauliflower is a hardly pickled vegetable and can easily be damaged. The robot analyzes each cauliflower and ensures it has a firm structure with the help of cameras and sensors in the "fingers."
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The robot then extracts vegetables with a few attached leaves. Currently, farmers pick all the vegetables at the same time. Following the procedure, 60% of the crop reaches the garbage because it is corrupted or incomprehensible. The University of Plymouth has tried to faithfully reproduce the human hand. The project was named ABC (Automated Brassica in Cornwall).
David Simmons is the director of Riviera Produce, partner in the ABC project and has been working for 30 years in agriculture. His family has been staying in Hayle, Cornwall since the 1870s. Field work is often executed by immigrant workers, and Brexit might change the rules, leading to a crisis in the workforce. "Harvesting costs can reach 40% of the production costs of brassica and skilled workers in agriculture are increasingly difficult to recruit, especially in the context of Brexit's rapid approach. Robotic agriculture has the potential to increase production and lead to better control of costs. "
Read the continuation in Gândul.