British robotics project to develop autonomous systems for soft fruit harvest

An innovative British agri-robotics project is set to develop advanced autonomous systems to support the production of soft fruit. The University of Lincoln, Saga Robotics UK and Berry Gardens Growers Ltd have begun a two-year project called RAS-Berry. The project is the largest of its kind within the EU.

The project has been cited as a "trailblazing" project in artificial intelligence by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The deal pledges an additional £1 billion of funding to put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence industry.



The machines can transport heavy boxes of fruit from the picking point to the collection point, relieving agricultural workers from the heavy work. Ultimately, the machines are designed to increase productivity at the point the fruit is picked.

According to an article on farminguk.com, robotic strawberry picking is still some years away, but the project will help human pickers by removing the burden of carrying full trays of fruit from the field to the collecting point on the field margin.

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