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Tumoba developing robotic broccoli harvester

Dutch company Tumoba is developing a robotic broccoli harvester. It’s expected to be launched in 2020.

Tumoba, located in the Dutch city of Barendrecht, has been developing a robotic broccoli harvester since 2002. The initial concept was put aside, and the engineers decided to start all over again. That has led to a prototype using a different harvesting method. The machine is expected to go into production in 2020.

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While at the moment the machine is still a prototype, the way it recognises broccoli and harvests it, works flawlessly.
While at the moment the machine is still a prototype, the way it recognises broccoli and harvests it, works flawlessly.

One thing is certain: Tumoba has never been as far as they are now in the development of their robotic harvester. While at the moment the machine is still a prototype, the way it recognises broccoli and harvests it, works flawlessly. Also, the leaf is now no longer in the way, which was the case with the initial concept.

The current prototype works using hydraulics. Tumoba will convert that to an electronic system, which will be tested in the field next year. All the company needs now for further testing is a grower who is willing to let his broccoli be harvested by the robot.
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Final version of the robotic broccoli harvester

The way Tumoba envisions it, the final version of the robotic broccoli harvester will be a harvesting machine with a large width, that can harvest a large number of rows at the same time. It will be equipped with wheels that can turn 90 degrees, so the harvester will be easy to move from one series of rows to the next. The machine will also be able to drive forwards and backwards.

Its capacity will be determined by the width of the machine, and the number of harvesting units that are mounted. Henk Molenaar of Tumoba estimates that on a machine with 10 harvesting units and a speed of action of 6 seconds, depending on harvest rate a capacity of 3.000 to 6.000 units is possible.

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Selective harvest

The machine will harvest in a selective way, depending on its settings it will harvest only broccoli that have florets of a certain size and a corresponding weight. The length of the stem is also something that can be adjusted in the settings of the robot.

Stan Verstegen

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