Robotics AI Food for thought

Are you ready to grow anything, anywhere?

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Combine the best horticultural knowledge with the smartest technology and most ambitious people and you will bring new opportunities into this world. Opportunities which we cannot ignore. Opportunities to transform the world’s growing system, together. Opportunities such as the Certhon Harvest Robot brings to the growers. And this is only just the start: harvesting tomatoes in a smarter way.

“With drastic changes happening in climate, demographics, and the shortages of labor worldwide, it’s time to bring the greenhouse system in line with the 21st century”, says Edwin Vanlaerhoven, head of business development at Certhon. “The robot simplifies the cultivation process by making the opportunity to grow food accessible to everyone.” The Certhon Harvest Robot is a perfect example of a cobot: a collaborative robot that is developed to work together with people in a shared work environment. Advanced vision technology, a flexible arm, and multifunctional scissors make it possible for the robot to harvest by itself both day and night. The synergy and interaction between both the robot and the people who are working in the greenhouse are essential to achieve the best results.

Testing and developing

“Right now, horticultural robots are still at the beginning of their potential”, explains Vanlaerhoven. “The first robot is up and running in a greenhouse of 4 hectares in Japan for further development and since a month we have the Certhon Harvest Robot operational in The Netherlands too, in the heart of the horticultural industry.” In cooperation with multiple Dutch growers, the robot is continuously being tested and developed to make it commercially ready. In the near future, the Certhon Harvest Robot is also able to scout the yield and measure the climate and health of the plant, including the functionality to protect for pests and diseases. The unique skills of the robot give us unique results to improve the way of growing.

DENSO and Certhon

Robotization has been a key development in the worldwide greenhouse industry in recent years as labour shortage is becoming more problematic each year. With the investment by Japanese car part manufacturer giant DENSO, Dutch greenhouse builder Certhon is well-positioned to play a big part in this development. The know-how on robotics, machine learning, big data, and quantum computing, plus the fact that 90% of the cards in the world having parts from DENSO, makes it easy to see they have something to bring to the horticulture tech table. This combination of artificial intelligence and plant science makes it possible to create tailor-made growing solutions for the most advanced high-tech horticultural projects, anywhere in the world. Together, Certhon and co-owner DENSO take up the challenge to look at the market from a whole new perspective in order to provide a more resilient and advanced food supply chain.

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