China Robot Harvest

 

UK Partners: Dr Martin STOELEN and Prof Mick FULLER, University of Plymouth

Chinese Partners: Wenhua SUN and Zhonglin ZHANG, Sunqiao; Yuanfei ZHOU, Shanghai Jiaotong University

 

Project Summary: 

This project aims to work towards the exchange of robotics technology for the safe and efficient harvest of fruits and vegetable crops grown in glasshouses and plastic tunnels.  The project is a collaboration between the UK and the Shanghai district of China which services a population of approximately 25 million with a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables and an export market to Hong Kong and other provinces of China.

The Shanghai district of China currently has an agricultural policy which is fully compliant with the Chinese government aspirations of sustainable agricultural and horticultural production which includes an aim to reduce labour requirements in intensive crop production. All soft fruit (eg raspberries and strawberries) and many vegetables (tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers) are picked by hand and the average age of pickers is increasing as agricultural continues to be an industry which is less and less attractive to young educated population. The introduction of harvesting robotics into large scale intensive crop production is a means to tackle problems of efficiency and repetitiveness.

 

 

Photos:

 

Sunqiao   SJTU

Visit by Dr Stoelen and Prof Fuller to Sunqiao in Shanghai.
 

Visit by Dr Stoelen and Prof Fuller to SJTU in Shanghai.
 
 
 
 Final Demo
 
 

Representatives of project team from Plymouth University, Sunqiao and SJTU after final demonstration, also with representative of the De Tao Group, and Chinese agricultural funding authorities.