The first prototype of a manipulator was tested in April 2012 for the first time in a sweet-pepper crop.
During the first 18 months of the project the European projects partners settled the requirements for such a system and developed and tested modules for this prototype. These modules were now put together in Wageningen. The main hardware piece, the robotic arm, was developed by the Institute of Applied Mechanics of the Technical University of Munich (Germany). Jentjens Machinetechniek, Veghel, (The Netherlands) has built a carrier platform to transport the manipulator through the greenhouse. Festo (Germany) developed a special gripper to be able to grip sweet-pepper fruits. Under the lead of the Department of Computer science of Umea University (Sweden) the first control software was assembled in a joint effort. Next steps are performing tests with the system in the real environment and the integration of sensors and intelligence for fruit and obstacle detection and localisation.
CROPS focuses on the development a new techniques for sensors, robot arms, grippers and intelligence, to be deployed in various agricultural applications.
The development of the sweet-pepper demonstrator is co-financed by the Dutch Horticultural Product Board (PT).
Prototype of the manipulator with gripper in a sweet-pepper crop