Spotlight on Harvest Assist
Posted: November 5, 2010
Penn State researchers are testing an augmented harvest system for the apple industry that handles the fruit from the time it is picked from the tree until it is placed on the bin. The system is composed of two main components. The first is a vacuum-assisted tube that “sucks” in the apple from the picker’s hand and transports it to a location just above the bin, where the fruit arrives with near-zero speed. The second element is an “elephant ear”-type revolving helix that places the fruit one by one in the bin. By eliminating the filling up and subsequent emptying of the picking bag, the system increases harvest efficiency significantly; and by eliminating the dumping of entire bags in the bins, the system helps reduce fruit bruising. The system is modular and can be modified for use with a tractor or another type of orchard platform. Stay tuned for a demonstration during apple harvest!
If you miss this presentation, take a look at this video (labeled DBR Trial):