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Vineland in search of commercialization partners for vegetable harvest robot


February 25, 2022
By Vineland Research & Innovation Centre

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(Photo by Vineland)

Vineland is in search of commercialization partners to help bring their vegetable harvest robot to market.

The newly developed robot has a proof-of-concept (pilot) solution for autonomous robotic harvesting of greenhouse vegetables, with a focus on identifying and gently harvesting the fruit from the plant. The vegetable harvesting robot’s distinction is based on the interplay between original computer vision algorithms, an elegant decision support system and a customized end effector. The end effector (also known as a gripper) has a motorized articulation that uses sensing to maintain the appropriate contact (grips the fruit) as the fruit is cut from the plant’s main stem (or vine). Initially developed for the harvest of Long English Cucumbers, it is adaptable to harvesting other crops and other activities such as pruning. The vegetable harvesting robot has already demonstrated robust, consistent performance in Vineland’s greenhouse environment and is undergoing preparation for further testing in a commercial greenhouse facility.

Additionally, the vegetable harvesting robot consists of three primary core technologies that have been developed and integrated onto a proof-of-concept test platform using off-the-shelf technology wherever possible. These core technologies are:

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  • Computer vision software
  • Decision support system
  • Customized end-effector

Vineland is seeking to commercialize its automated vegetable harvesting robot through one or more third parties who have the interest, capacity and capability to manufacture, market and sell the vegetable harvesting robot to the national and/or international horticultural sector.

Interested companies can respond with information on the following:

  • Reason for interest in commercializing Vineland’s automated vegetable harvesting robot
  • Your company’s current and/or anticipated manufacturing, marketing and selling capabilities and capacities
  • Experience in the horticulture sector with a description of your company’s business interests within Canada
  • Proposed terms of access to intellectual property rights to Vineland’s technology, including license or acquisition of IP rights
  • Potential interest in on-going R & D collaboration with Vineland

The following timeline is in place:

  • Launch of EOI process: February 3, 2022
  • Question period: February 4 to March 4, 2022
  • Closure of EOI process: March 21, 2022
  • RFP issued to selected companies: April 19, 2022
  • RFP closes: May 31, 2022
  • Companies selected and agreements executed: July 2022

For more information on how to apply, please click here.