The Millstone Times April 2022


Robots and Fruit By: Nicole Iuzzolino In a world that is astronomically dependent on technology, it was no surprise that robots would begin to be used in society. In medical schools, robots are used to give students the practice they need to interact with students. Engineers Japan are also creating robots to duplicate human emotions for nursing homes. Then there is ‘Rubion’, the robot picking strawberries for Wimbledon. As stated by The Engineer Rubion, “...uses a combination of smart photonics and an innovative clasping mechanism to pick up 360kg of strawberries each day…”. A human picker picks up around 50 kg a day. This is around 11,500 strawberries. The engineer of this robot explains that only 14 of these robots could pick all the strawber- ries needed for Wimbledon in less than 14 days. Strawberries are famous at Wimbledon and have been for centuries. Experts on the subject matter have explained that the strawberries have become a tradition. This tradition is so important because the game al- ways happens during strawberry picking season. It also became popular to eat amongst the victorians, so it really just stuck! These strawberries are served in little containers with an optional side of cream and sugar. With this tradition being so widely known far and wide, it is important for these robots to pick perfect strawberries and in massive amounts, which is exactly what they are doing. The robots use “a patented soft touch grip- per” to pick the fruit without leaving any sort of damages. This is a special gripper used specifically for soft berries like strawberries. They even avoid giving the strawberries any bruises. The strawberries grow in small beds on the ground and the robots can sort through the berries by size, and weight! They even pack them into containers to be ready for everyone to eat! This type of robot can also be used for harder and bigger fruits, which would be used without the special grip. The cofounder of the company who uses these robots to pick strawberries states, “Our robot doesn’t need a break or a holiday and doesn’t complain about the weather. Rotting and unpicked fruit from a lack of human pickers on farms all over the world could soon be tackled with robots.” With the way technology is evolving, I can see this to be true. Overall, it is extremely fascinating to see these robots taking over the world. They are taking on jobs that no one would ever imagine, and it opens possibilities for these robots to work more and more in our society.

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