Robotic farming industry revolution starts in Sorrento Valley
August 12, 2013 by Sarah
Robots designed right here in Sorrento Valley could be set to revolutionize farming, with the new era starting with the Californian wine industry.
Prototypes are currently being introduced, which help with the wine grape vine-pruning process. Designed by Vision Robotics, it could be a clear sign of the future.
The complex equipment, which is fully equipped with cameras and computers, is attached to a regular tractor. As this travels across the field, a 3D projection of the vine is created. This is analyzed, determining which areas of the plant are to be pruned and which should be left, thus optimizing the growth and productivity of each plant analyzed.
The robot then activates clipper attachments to prune the plant according to the analysis, with wind detection devices ensuring exactly the right areas are clipped.
It is not just in the wine industry that the robots can be utilized, however. The firm has also developed a robot used for lettuce trimming.
Brochure printers for the firm’s schedule will be including a robot that can pick oranges without damaging the fruit. The equipment is so effective, it is able to replace up to three human workers.
As finding a labor force for such tasks becomes increasingly hard in Sorrento Valley and throughout the state, the development of these robots is seen as a critical development by the growers. It is still essential that the process is monitored, though.
The lettuce trimmers are already in use, with the grape pruners set to be introduced throughout 2014.