Strawberry Picking Robot In Japan

Japan's people are aging; old farmers are finding it difficult to find young people to work the fields. Bring on the robots!

(Robot strawberry picker from Japan)

This handy robot performs a particularly time-consuming and tedious (read "labor-intensive") chore; the monitoring and picking of strawberries.

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, venture firm Romobility Youto is working on its strawberry-picking robot; the robot's color-sensitive camera checks on ripeness before plucking.

The following video shows you how it works.

(Video of strawberry-picking robot)

Science fiction writers (and by extension, their readers) are ahead of the curve once again. In his 1955 short story War Veteran, Philip K. Dick refers to robot gardeners:

David Unger sat moodily on his park bench...

To his right a robot gardener worked over the same patch of grass again and again, its metallic eye-lenses intently fastened on the wizened, hunched-over figure of the old man.
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's robot gardener)

Readers might also recall the field-minder from Brian Aldiss' Who can replace a man? (1963) and the robot gardening crab from Neuromancer (1984)

If you're interested, take a look at some of these other robotic aids to agriculture:

Via Impact Lab; thanks to Moira for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/25/2008)

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