Sure, this new fruit-handling robot looks cool, but what can you do with such a thing, really? Beyond a bit of banana bruising, not much. But figuring out how to get robots properly picking up fresh produce has some interesting potential.
Farming has become more and more automated, at almost every possible entry point. And yet, still, there are tasks that humans can do in a moment and robots find incredibly tricky, one being handling ripe fruits, vegetables and spices. Their shapes are unpredictable, they bruise or break easily, and distinguishing them from their surroundings (or their less ripe counterparts) isn’t always easy.
Of course, this new robot isn’t anywhere near a point where it could do that kind of work in the field (although the manufacturer does point to it as a potential tool in food processing plants). Eventually, though, it and robots like it might be able to inch us closer to fully robotic farms.