Every year strawberry farmers face the struggle of trying to retain their strawberry pickers. A shortage of workers in this industry has become a common problem because workers are unwilling to perform such physically demanding tasks even though some are paid upward of $25 per hour to do so. To combat the shortage of workers, a company called Harvest CROO Robotics created a strawberry-picking machine.
The strawberry-picking robot is about the size of a bus and can drive itself. The machine contains a GPS that encompasses the exact location of each strawberry plant. Underneath, the machine is comprised of high-definition cameras that locate the berries and robotic claws to pick them once identified.
Currently, the strawberry-picking machine is only a prototype. The robot can accurately identify only 50% of ripe berries while a human can correctly identify between 60% and 90%. Also, humans are still faster at collecting the berries than the machine. Harvest CROO Robotics claims that the machine could work overnight to compensate for the fact that it is slower.
If Harvest CROO Robotics can develop a more accurate and faster strawberry-picking machine than the price of fruit could go down and solve the labor shortage in the agricultural industry. Do you think that they will be able to create a strawberry-picking machine more accurate than a human? If so, do you think that we will see this technology in the near future?