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Switzerland: Beerstecher puts ETH picking robot into operation

"We are impressed with how well the robot handles picking and defoliation"

Salman Faraji of ETH Zurich's Robotic Systems Lab (RSL) and his team have developed a robot that does some of the work and can be easily integrated into existing systems. "Our system combines robotics, image processing and advanced AI. It sounds simple, but the technology is backed by two years of intensive research and programming at ETH. The biggest challenge was teaching the robot to recognize thin objects correctly," Salman says. The robot consists of a robotic arm with a gripper and scissors, cameras, and parallel processing capabilities. The arm can be mounted on an existing maintenance cart used in greenhouses. A crate system will be added for harvesting.

In 2022, Salman and his team put their first prototype into operation at Meiergemüse with support from Innosuisse. This year, Floating Robotics will conduct a second pilot at Beerstecher near Zurich. Bianca Curcio, greenhouse manager at Beerstecher, says, "We got to know Floating Robotics last year and were impressed with how well the robot handles picking and defoliation. We're confident that the pilot will show how an automated robot can best be integrated into current harvest management and under what conditions it can be a useful tool for greenhouse operators to ensure healthy products."

For more information:
ETH Zürich - Robotic Systems Lab (RSL)

Stampfenbachstrasse 69
CH-8092 Zürich, Zwitserland
Tel.: +41446338493  

Beerstecher AG
Hochbordstrasse 15
8600 Dübendorf
Tel.: +41 (0)44 823 10 00
Fax: +41 (0)44 823 10 08  

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