automatic asparagus digger 'AutoSpar'

Harvesting asparagus with 3D-camera

The use of machines when harvesting asparagus is not new. Many machines, however, could not harvest selectively up to now, which resulted in a high share of asparagus, which did not comply with the standard of first choice. The automatic asparagus digger 'AutoSpar' must now bring the solution. The 'AutoSpar' harvests selectively and is fully automatic with the help of a 3D-camera system.

In 2010 researchers of the university in Bremen presented the automatic asparagus digger, which was developed during a two-year EU-project. "At the moment 'AutoSpar' is parked in one of the halls of our partner Strauss, awaiting the following project phase" dr. Holger Raffel of the 'Bremer Centrum für Mechatronik' (BCM) at the university of Bremen says. "We will develop it further till it is taken into production and then we will start with the acquisition of clients." Asparagus growers have already shown a lot of interest in the 'AutoSpar'.
The advantage for asparagus growers is, according to the developers, mainly in a larger independence on seasonal workers, as only two or three machines and one labourer are required per field. As a result harvesting expenses will drop as well by one to two Euro per kilo. The development of the 'AutoSpar' cost 1.3 million Euro in total.

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