NORONN Robotic Strawberry Harvester - Full-scale testing, validation and go-to-market - will develop prototypes for of autonomous strawberry Harvester for testing at tabletop production. Labour shortage is one of the major concerns for strawberry growers. There is thus a need for new technology to help growers automate this process. The NORONN project builds on existing developments within the consortium that puts us in a unique position to close the technological gaps needed to make these systems useful for farmers around the world. We have developed a patent pending gripper that allows us to pick strawberries faster and more accurately than our competitors. The main challenge is the identification and picking of the strawberry using a robotic arm. The fruits need to be accurately localized in the field. We find the fruits using a deep neural network and find the location in the three-dimensional space using 3D camera. A novel and patent-pending gripper is developed but need to be tested and adjusted.. The IP is owned by ARD INNOVATION on behalf of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The gripper picks the berries by enclosing them entirely before picking. This makes us able to pick berries in the presence of uncertainties and moving berries, for example due to wind. We will also equip this gripper with internal sensors that can estimate the ripeness of the berries and evaluate the quality in a enclosed and controlled environment before harvest. The main objective of the project is to make sure the IP and technology is exploited in the best possible way to reach a global market. This includes proof-of-concept of the technology, developing a business plan.
Project leader: Katharina Asting
Institution: NORONN AS