Agricultural robot picks strawberry fields forever — very, very slowly

When you hear about robots coming out of Japan, a few thoughts probably come to mind. Security for the future. Jaw-droppingly advanced. Absolutely everywhere. Yet here's one robot strawberry picker from the Land of the Rising Sun that's doesn't feel too pressured to perform its task.

This 'bot by Japanese robotics firm Romobility Youto is being put to work in greenhouses in Utsunomiya of Tochigi Prefecture. It's equipped with a color-sensitive camera that can not only identify berries amidst the foliage, but also determine how ripe a strawberry is. Then it reaches out and delicately snips the berry, placing it on a tray. The downside: it averages only one berry every 10 seconds, but perhaps that's the cost of precision.

Still, the farmer observing the robot was excited, and told news site Nikkei Net: "Strawberry harvesting requires a great deal of both time and labor … If it is reasonably priced, I will consider buying one."

Romobility Youto, via Loving the Machine.