Experts are developing a robot to replace human strawberry pickers as farms struggle to find workers due to Brexit. Around 20 per cent of soft fruits are going to waste due to a shortage of workers, University of Essex researchers say. This will worsen when Britain leaves the EU, scientist claim, which has led to farms looking for alternate solutions to harvest crops. Dr Vishuu Mohan a computer science and engineering lecturer who is leading the project, said: 'The challenge is that no two berries are the same - they come in different shapes, sizes, order of ripeness and many are hidden in the foliage. 'Also the environment keeps changing constantly - sunny, windy, rainy - in contrast to a typical industrial environment.
When you've got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but the world starts to look more interesting if your hammer can change shape. For the builders of a class of robots called modular self-reconfigurable robots (MSRR), shape-shifting is the first step toward endowing robots with an animal-like adaptability to unknown situations. "The question of autonomy becomes more complicated, more interesting," when robots can change themselves to meet changing circumstances, said roboticist Hadas Kress-Gazit of Cornell University. The key to achieving adaptability for robots rests in centralized sensory processing, environmental perception, and decision-making software, Kress-Gazit and colleagues report this week in a new paper in Science Robotics. The authors claim their new work represents the first time a modular robot has autonomously solved problems by reconfiguring in response to a changing environment.
In this paper, we propose a simulation platform for the performance testing of robots and human operations. Robots have been used in disaster scenarios, where the environment is unstable. Human operators may have no prior experience in dealing with such dynamically changing environments, which may also be unstable for robotic tasks. To develop rescue robots, disaster situation emulation and human-in-loop test platform are required in addition to robot simulators. The proposed platform is used to design, develop robots and to conduct drills for robot operations, and to carry out experiments. And the results of experiments are presented.