A robot capable of harvesting asparagus spears has been developed by a team of researchers from Autopickr, a U.K.-based agricultural machinery manufacturer.

Dubbed “Gus,” the roughly 45 kg, four-wheeled, battery powered robotic precision agriculture and harvesting platform can reportedly autonomously pick 100% of all the harvestable asparagus during an eight-to-10-hour shift, according to its developers.

Source: AutopickrSource: Autopickr

Unlike cartesian competitors that can encounter lateral drift and subsequently miss or drop the asparagus spears they were harvesting, Gus is designed to mimic the human hand with its arm and end effector.

The team explained that Gus’ arm’s passive end effector cuts and subsequently captures the asparagus without gripping it. This, according to its developers, avoids damage to the crop. Onboard containers can reportedly hold 20 kg of asparagus spears.

Because Gus uses ultra-wide band (UWB) to triangulate its position, the device can work in both greenhouse and field settings. Additionally, Gus’ artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled computer vision is achieved with an Intel RealSense camera working in combination with a Nvidia Jeston Orin Nano developed for entry level edge-AI and robotics.

In addition to asparagus harvesting, Autopickr suggests that Gus is appropriated for other agricultural and horticultural applications such as daffodil harvesting and vineyard management.

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