Strawberry Harvesting May Soon Become More Efficient and Cheaper

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Strawberry Harvesting May Soon Become More Efficient and Cheaper

Robot aids farmers in picking strawberries.

Robot aids farmers in picking strawberries.

Courtesy of Washington Post

Robot aids farmers in picking strawberries.

Courtesy of Washington Post

Courtesy of Washington Post

Robot aids farmers in picking strawberries.

Zaysha Akina-Mahoe, Staff Reporter

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Professor Ehsani and two colleagues at the University of Central Florida and Washington State University will begin working on a project to cultivate the strawberry crop more efficiently at a low cost. 

In the past, Ehsani has designed several harvesting systems for a variety of fruits and nuts as well as disease and stress-detection sensors to fix agricultural challenges. 

Strawberries rank 4th as Californiaʻs most valuable crop, and California is the USʻ largest distributor of strawberries beside Florida. The group noticed that strawberries were often left unharvested due to labor shortages and increasing imports from Mexico. Therefore, their work was seen as valuable and was rewarded a $1.1 million grant for their project titled “Distributed Co-robots for Strawberry Harvesting.”

The research of this project may help to inspire new agricultural innovation for the environmental future”

Ehsani said, “The human hand is particularly challenging to mimic in a machine, and strawberries are a very sensitive fruit; the project will test several robotic arms.” Ehsani and his colleagues will continue to work on improving the machineʻs artificial intelligence component, so it will be able to mimic the human hand the best. 

The research of this project may help to inspire new agricultural innovation for the environmental future. Ehsani hopes that this project inspires younger generations to build and start new projects similar to his. 

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