Register Now!

Wine Making & Grape Growing Forum > Grape Growing / Vineyard Management / Commercial Winery > Commercial Winery Forum > Developing a Robot for Fruit Growers - what do you think?


Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-13-2017, 10:26 AM   #31
candersen10
Junior Member
 
Feb 2017
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by havlikn View Post
Yes I see a purpose there
Any takers here for helping us sell something like this (selling for $4K or so - this product in a more commercial form (i.e. Robust, farm tough, etc.): http://www.agrbt.com/AGR%20Burro%20Overview.pdf) or perhaps in buying an early build? If interested, send me a note (charlie@agrbt.com).

What would be a realistic price point? Running full tilt a single unit could replace 10 miles of material transport back and forth, and would run on its own so no need for an operator.

In essence, a Burro would function as a virtual conveyor belt from a pick point to a collection point.


 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2017, 12:50 AM   #32
Johny99
Junior Member
 
Johny99's Avatar
 
Sep 2010
Posts: 788
Liked 429 Times on 278 Posts
Likes Given: 1021


Quote:
Originally Posted by candersen10 View Post
Johny99, do you have a link anywhere to the elevated tram systems that you have seen? If so would love to see it. Thanks!
Here is a picture of one. They were on very steep slopes, some were a monorail and others had two rails, elevated with a little engine (gas I guess) and cars.
Italy 443.jpg  
__________________
John
Columbia Valley Washington

sour_grapes Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2017, 03:56 PM   #33
candersen10
Junior Member
 
Feb 2017
Posts: 18

We are making progress on our product, and have a survey for customer feedback.

Could anyone on the forum that has an interest in a robotic following cart fill this out? Thanks!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1F...rm?usp=sf_link

To keep tabs on our progress, please visit www.agrbt.com. Image below shows our new 4WD prototype.



 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 07:45 AM   #34
candersen10
Junior Member
 
Feb 2017
Posts: 18

Looking for feedback now on our concept. Could forum members check out this video (see link below), and give us an idea of whether something like this might create value?


We've spent a lot of time talking with growers of hand picked crops like blueberries, raspberries, and table grapes. Now, looking for feedback from wine grape growers too (especially those who hand pick). Could you see a cart like this working in your operation as a labor saving device to keep pickers picking continuously rather than running crops to the end of rows?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 08:22 AM   #35
balatonwine
The Verecund Vigneron
 
balatonwine's Avatar
 
May 2017
Posts: 229
Liked 152 Times on 104 Posts
Likes Given: 102


I don't see the point of this product. It is a specialized tool and an added expense that can be done with existing tools the farmer already has. And how are empty trays delivered to the pickers? A obvious omission in this marketing video.

Currently, our trays are placed into the center of the row empty, and filled by workers, and replaced into the row when full. A Tractor with tailer comes along driving over the trays, and a small crew picks up the full trays and stacks them on the trailer. Tractor then delivers a full load to the winery (so no extra tray transfer step needed as with this robot product). And picks up more empty trays to deliver to the field ahead of the workers (same crew goes down a to-be-picked row depositing empty trays). It is all simply a matter of managing the work flow properly. A robot following the picker around is not only not needed, but from my understanding of this simplistic video, a large operation might need as many as a quarter or half as many $8,000 robots as there are workers? Or do you just have a person walking a robot through the field and waiting (doing nothing and on paid time) while the robot makes a delivery of a rather small load to the collection point? Quite an expensive investment that is unnecessary, IMHO.

By the way, our vineyards are on quite a slope. We are not growing raspberries, and vineyards can be in some challenging terrain. Nice videos of a tool on flat ground bouncing over not much more than little bumps. I bet our diesel 4x4 tractor can climb a steeper slope with a full trailer with many times more fruit weight than this little robot could handle on a flat surface. Again, don't see the advertised savings for us.
__________________
Sustainable Viticulture & Fine Winemaking at http://the-verecund-vigneron.com


 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 10:34 AM   #36
candersen10
Junior Member
 
Feb 2017
Posts: 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by balatonwine View Post
I don't see the point of this product. It is a specialized tool and an added expense that can be done with existing tools the farmer already has. And how are empty trays delivered to the pickers? A obvious omission in this marketing video.

Currently, our trays are placed into the center of the row empty, and filled by workers, and replaced into the row when full. A Tractor with tailer comes along driving over the trays, and a small crew picks up the full trays and stacks them on the trailer. Tractor then delivers a full load to the winery (so no extra tray transfer step needed as with this robot product). And picks up more empty trays to deliver to the field ahead of the workers (same crew goes down a to-be-picked row depositing empty trays). It is all simply a matter of managing the work flow properly. A robot following the picker around is not only not needed, but from my understanding of this simplistic video, a large operation might need as many as a quarter or half as many $8,000 robots as there are workers? Or do you just have a person walking a robot through the field and waiting (doing nothing and on paid time) while the robot makes a delivery of a rather small load to the collection point? Quite an expensive investment that is unnecessary, IMHO.

By the way, our vineyards are on quite a slope. We are not growing raspberries, and vineyards can be in some challenging terrain. Nice videos of a tool on flat ground bouncing over not much more than little bumps. I bet our diesel 4x4 tractor can climb a steeper slope with a full trailer with many times more fruit weight than this little robot could handle on a flat surface. Again, don't see the advertised savings for us.
balatonwine, thank you for the feedback. very helpful. A few points/clarifying questions below.

(1) How large is your operation, and is percentage of time spent picking versus shuttling picked produce around a concern?

(2) And how are empty trays delivered to the pickers? A obvious omission in this marketing video.
We assume that a picker would send the robot back after removing a last empty tray, and that when the robot reached the collection point, the people unloading it would refill it with empty trays to return to the picker with.

(3) Or do you just have a person walking a robot through the field and waiting (doing nothing and on paid time) while the robot makes a delivery of a rather small load to the collection point?
We assume picker would continue picking into a removed empty bin while the robot ran back to be emptied, and returned empty, thus eliminating shuttling time and allowing the picker to just pick.

(4) bet our diesel 4x4 tractor can climb a steeper slope with a full trailer with many times more fruit weight than this little robot could handle on a flat surface.
Our small prototype is an early prototype; we believe we can engineer our robots to work quite nicely on very steep slopes (albeit with <400-500 lb payloads).

(5) Overall, no point to our idea it sounds like in Vineyards?

Thanks!


 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2017, 12:47 PM   #37
NorCal
Junior Member
WMT_MODERATOR.png
 
NorCal's Avatar
 
Apr 2014
Posts: 1,631
Liked 1309 Times on 636 Posts
Likes Given: 393


We are getting ready to harvest our first 7.5 tons (head trained Mourvedre for Rose) tomorrow.

Macrobins on a trailer are staged at the end of the rows. Each plant has around 10 lbs of fruit, 40 or so vines per row. So, every two or three rows, we get a full macro bin. The macro bin trailer is then taken by tractor to the weigh station, 1/8 mile away. In this scenario, I don't see applicability.

However, we have other vineyards, where it is hard to get a macro bin in close proximity to the picking of the grapes. This is a much better application for the robot. One of the biggest problems, besides labor costs (Our CA minimum wage is going up $1 per/hour each year, all the way up to $15) is finding people to do the work, period. So, I see a growing need for innovative solutions that can take aid or take the place of field workers.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Wine Making Forum Replies Last Post
Grape and Fruit Growers please read grapeman Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum 2 12-10-2014 07:22 AM
Hey Grape Growers HillPeople Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum 14 06-01-2013 12:14 PM
?Developing your wine tongue? TJsBasement Beginners Wine Making Forum 12 06-04-2012 07:32 PM
robot kitten winery smack Wine Cellar & Storage Forum 2 10-08-2010 03:15 PM
Developing vineyard galen Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum 1 11-16-2009 08:16 PM


Forum Jump