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Dutch company working on an apple picking robot, the Pluk-o-trak

Technology companies across the globe are in a race. Who will bring the first apple picking robot to market? The Netherlands, too, is taking part in that race. On Sunday, Han Smits of Munckhof Fruit Tech Innovators presented a picking robot prototype. His company is working on it. That was on Nieuwsuur, a Dutch current affairs TV program. That prototype is the second of its kind for the company. It has been recently tested at a Dutch experimental farm.

Photo: Wageningen University & Research

"There's a tremendous amount of knowledge in the market. We're sure we can get this done from the technical side. It's just going to take a lot of time. Especially regarding AI development and building the algorithm. There could be a robot available in practice within three to five years. That's provided there's enough funding for it. A small company like ours cannot pull this off on its own," says Smits.

You can watch the Nieuwsuur broadcast (in Dutch) on The piece about robotization begins at minute 22.

Munckhof Fruit Tech Innovators and the Netherlands Fruit Growers' (NFO) Organization are part of a project called The next Fruit 4.0. This involves an international collaboration to hasten technological development in the fruit sector.

Source: NFO

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