Japan’s agriculture industry is overwhelmingly short of workers amidst what is said to be the world’s worst super-ageing society. Great hopes now lie in scientific and technological innovative growth as a solution.
AGRIST, an agricultural robotics company, developed the “L” automatic harvesting robot as one of the solutions to the labour shortage in harvesting bell peppers.
Unlike most conventional harvest robots, which move on the ground, the L moves on wires installed in the greenhouse. So there is no need to set up rails on land and no need for initial construction work. Of course, the L can move regardless of the surface conditions since it does not travel on the ground.
The built-in AI selects only the right bell peppers for harvesting. The company’s patented mechanical harvesting hand cuts the section connecting the stem to fruit twice to avoid damaging the fruit, thus boosting its commercial value.
The robot measures 106cm (height) x 76cm (width) x 29cm (depth) and weighs 16kg. it can operate continuously for 4 hours on a single battery charge or 8 hours per day. The installation cost is set to be around JPY1.5 million (about USD13K). This is the same price as a small transport vehicle used by many farmers in Japan.
Botanical factories are taking the spotlight as a solution to the food crisis and labour shortages. From sowing to cultivation and harvesting, Japanese companies will continue to advance the automation of agriculture.
How will robots rescue Japanese agriculture?
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