Harvesting and blossom thinning by robot

The South Tyrolean company Aigritec has been testing its picking robot in the apple orchards of the Laimburg Research Centre since 2022. During the tests in the apple orchards, the prototype was improved and the algorithm was refined. With the help of a vision system, the exact position of each apple is recorded, thus preventing damage of the fruit and the tree. In addition to the picking robot, Aigritec is also developing a system for automated precision thinning of the blossoms in spring.

Together with Christian Andergassen, group leader of Fruit Physiology at Laimburg Research Centre, this system was validated and compared with a commercial airblast sprayer. The system recognizes the flower clusters on the tree and sprays them only if a flower is open. This significantly increases the effectiveness of blossom thinning, reduces hand thinning and thus increases fruit quality.

Webseite Aigritec: https://www.aigritec.com/

Photo credits: NOI Techpark/daniele fiorentino