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Friday, November 18, 2022

Fruit picking drones with human operators

Horticulture could benefit from automation that combines fast, repetitive actions by a robot with a human operator who provides rapid, accurate identification of fruit to be picked. 

The combination of a human operator and an automated picking machine has a number of advantages. 

A human operator would be able to pick a much larger number of pieces of fruit than either a worker or a robot alone. Fewer workers would be needed, wages could be higher because of higher productivity, and remote operation means more people would be available to pick crops. Fruit-picking could be done from the comfort of the workers' own home. 

The software could be developed as a computer game, with players identifying as many objects to be picked by a robot within the game to advance to higher levels. 

Once perfected as a game, the automated component - the fruit-picking robot - would be driven by the game-player's input just as the game-based robot was. The fruit-picking robot designer need only address the challenge of picking an identified piece of fruit after the game player has chosen it and provided the precise location. 

The video below demonstrates actions a fruit-picking robot needs to replicate - 


The game-player in the development version could control the game with a VR headset that includes eye-tracking to obtain information on the precise location and choice of pieces of fruit to be picked. 

The video below gives a description of this type of operator interface to a game or a fruit-picking robot -

A company offering VR headsets with eye tracking for computer game development, Tobii, describes its capabilities as: 

What is eye tracking in gaming?

An eye tracker gives your computer the knowledge of where you are looking on-screen. Eye tracking technology can enhance your gameplay experience by allowing you to use head and eye movements to control the in-game camera, and to affect and interact with game environments. 

VIVE Pro Eye is powered by Tobbi software