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Robotics Hardware

Japanese Robot Picks Only the Ripest Strawberries 202

Posted by timothy
from the worry-when-it-starts-tasting-them dept.
kkleiner writes "The Institute of Agricultural Machinery at Japan's National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, along with SI Seiko, has developed a robot that can select and harvest strawberries based on their color. Ripened berries are detected using the robot's stereoscopic cameras, and analyzed to measure how red they appear. When the fruit is ready to come off the vine, the robot quickly locates it in 3D space and cuts it free. From observation to collection, the harvesting process takes about 9 seconds per berry. Creators estimate that it will be able to cut down harvesting time by 40%."
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Japanese Robot Picks Only the Ripest Strawberries

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  • by Shikaku (1129753) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:45PM (#34452886)

    They know they're ripe because they turn red at the money spot.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:52PM (#34452940)
    And yet the design and manufacturing of these robots will take place in Japan so we won't see many local jobs from this except for some repair jobs.
  • Re:No Thank You (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @04:04PM (#34453026) Journal

    Really? I have lots of free time, work far shorter hours, have a much higher standard of living than my parents did at my age and a vastly higher standard of living than any of my grandparents did at my age. I'm definitely not super rich (well, except in the sense that anyone living in an industrialised western nation is in the top 10% of the world's wealth), but I certainly would not be able to enjoy my current lifestyle if it were not for the fact that automation has brought down the cost of living comfortably. If wheat still needed to be harvested by men with scythes and clothes still needed to be hand sewn from cloth made by someone with a hand loom that took a week to weave a single piece (from hand-spun wool), then I would be barely able to afford food, let alone clothes.

    I live in a society where bread is so cheap that I can afford to eat a few slices from a loaf and then throw the rest of it away! And this isn't even a prerogative of the middle classes, even the 'poor' people can generally afford to do it. I can walk into a hospital or a GP's surgery and be prescribed drugs that will cure diseases that would have killed the richest man in the world a hundred years ago. This is almost entirely due to automation.

    Yes, some jobs have gone away, but somehow I don't really find the fact that I never had the opportunity as a child to work in a coal mine particularly upsetting. I am very happy, in contrast, with the fact that I can be paid to write books and articles by a publisher in the USA and by companies all over the world to write code. This would have been completely impossible even thirty years ago and difficult ten or so years ago.

    Seriously.

  • by Mysteray (713473) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @04:26PM (#34453226) Homepage

    Yeah and don't forget the advertising agencies who advertise and the lawyers who sue and the government inspectors to inspect and the ....

    Dude, the only person producing new wealth in your scenario is the the farmer and look at all the overhead you're expecting him to bear.

  • Re:No Thank You (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @04:30PM (#34453276)
    That's not true. My last job was paying $27k a year. Rent around here if you want some place decent to live it is at least $8400 a year, health insurance if you're paying out of pocket is easily another $3600, bus pass is another grand there. Then there's the taxes, another something like $3300 for social security and another grand or so for income tax.

    And when you get to the bottom line there's very little left over for actual life. I was busting my hump for that money, and it still wasn't realistically enough to live a reasonably good life. Certainly not enough to throw away food or waste stuff I'd paid for.

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