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.
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.