IAV develops harvesting robot

Who will harvest our strawberries if fewer and fewer people are willing to work in agriculture? The Germans’ favorite fruit needs technical help to have a future in this country. IAV is therefore developing a harvesting robot in close cooperation with farmers.

Camera and AI - technology for strawberry harvesting

This harvesting helper doesn’t eat a single strawberry itself. Dutifully and with electric propulsion, the harvesting robot rolls on wheels – or optionally on rails – through the planting aisles of a greenhouse. Its arm is equipped with a camera and a gripping system. This enables it to locate the position of the berries and pick them gently.

Artificial intelligence lets it determine the ripeness of the berries. The robot is programmed to pick only the ripe berries – and to detect the red berries hanging behind the green ones. After it separates the berries from the stem of the plant, it places them in a fruit bowl. From here, the trays can go straight to sale, as the integrated weighing system can adhere precisely to weight specifications.

IAV's Erdbeerpfl├╝ckroboter
Together with large farms in Germany, IAV has developed a harvesting robot.

“With the robot, we offer a solution to the labor shortage in agriculture.”
Enrico Neumann, Product Manager Harvesting Systems.

The harvesting robot has already proven its durability in four million cutting operations and is expected to operate for 20 hours at a time. The robot is expected to go into productive use as early as the next harvest season in 2024 to support farmers.

“In robotics, we have the opportunity to innovate, stay competitive and grow sustainably.”
Thimo Oehlschl├Ągel, Senior Technical Consultant for Mobile Autonomous Systems

“Already today, we live in a society where robots are part of our lives. In the future, robotic systems will become even more integrated into society. Therefore, a profound change in the world of work, mobility, medicine, care, environmental monitoring, security, defense and many other areas of life is likely. We want to play an active role in shaping this change.

IAV is currently working on solutions that can monitor large properties in an automated manner using robots. In addition, we can imagine developing drones that fly on hydrogen – and thus for a very long time – and using them to inspect power and gas lines or deliver medicines, for example.”