As part of the HarvBot (HARVesting coBOT) project, the Eurecat technology centre has validated the use of collaborative robots and inexpensive cameras to automate strawberry harvesting and handling in a hydroponic crop by tapping computer vision technologies to detect the fruit.

In the project, which has been a pilot test for Enkitek, “new 3D printed components have been designed and tested to tailor the robot to identify and harvest the fruit along with algorithms for detection and handling tasks,” says Óscar Palacín, a researcher at the Eurecat technology centre’s Robotics and Automation Unit.

“Using hardware-agnostic software is the cornerstone of the project and crucial to unlocking automation in this emerging industry by providing access to the growing supply of inexpensive robots and enabling undertakings to become scalable businesses,” notes Victor Canton Ferrer, Enkitek’s CEO and co-founder.

The HarvBot project has been supported by ACCIÓ, the Agency for Business Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia, as part of the Digital Innovation Hub of Catalonia.