Kubota and Tevel’s award-winning robotic fruit picking plans

THE rush to develop fruit picking robots took another turn, recently, when global manufacturing giant, Kubota and tech specialist, Tevel, won the DLG Agrifuture Concept Award 2022 for an automated system of jointly developed fruit picking.

The award was presented by Germany’s DLG, a globally recognized authority on agricultural machinery, in an online session. This marked a new chapter in the search for a credible machine for picking fruit, which can be particularly prone to mechanical damage.

With labor shortages in fruit picking focusing minds on finding new solutions, Kubota and Tevel combined their expertise to address this major challenge by developing an automated orchard-style fruit picking system, offering a solution for any size operation thanks to a unique and modular approach.

The modular concept of wired fruit picking drones and flexible logistics solutions will allow various configurations for the needs of each farm and allow full compatibility with established harvesting methods.

president and representative director of Kubota, Yuichi Kitao; Yasukazu Kamada, president of Kubota Holdings Europe; and Peter van der Vlugt, General Manager of Kubota’s Innovation Center in Europe, attended the online awards ceremony.

At the award ceremony, Mr. Kitao said, “Our vision for 2030 is to be an ‘Essentials Innovator for Supporting Life’. This DLG Agrifuture Concept Award is an encouragement to continue our investments in sustainable innovations. in the areas of food, water and the environment, in the perspective of the post-Covid-19 society.

DLG, the German agricultural society, awarded these prizes for pioneering work in agricultural machinery and visions for the future. Visionary agricultural machinery solutions provide crucial stimuli for the future viability of global agricultural production, he said.

Engineers around the world are working on technical solutions for the future of agriculture. Not all of their ideas and concepts make it to the finished product stage.

Often, technical or legal constraints limit their development to market maturity. Many of these concepts nevertheless have the potential to inspire and challenge farmers and fellow engineers to think differently. This award underlines the relevance of this pioneering work on agricultural machinery for the future of agriculture “in five to ten years”.

“We are particularly proud of our collaboration with Tevel. We have partnered with one of the most technologically advanced companies in fruit picking,” said Peter van der Vlugt. “Kubota is committed to helping solve the problems of fruit growers by ensuring the timing and quality of harvest is secure and addressing the growing labor issues that growers face today. ”

Tevel Aerobotics Technologies is a leading global expert in autonomous flying robots for fruit picking, which combines AI (artificial intelligence) with computer vision, advanced robotics, aeronautical engineering, flight control of edge, data fusion and perception.

It has developed a fleet of flying robots to perform picking, thinning and pruning tasks in orchards. Additionally, Tevel’s AI software will enable revolutionary fruit sorting at source, picking the best fruit from the orchard, at the optimal and precise time.