The current manual harvesting process
is labour intensive, expensive and wasteful. The most obvious benefit to growers
of a selective, automated harvester is therefore
the significant reduction in increasingly expensive and hard to find field-workers.
Payment regimes and working practices greatly affect the yields that growers achieve. It is our belief that RoboVeg has the potential to make
a real and very welcome improvement
to growers' yields.
Cutting only those heads which meet the required size criteria will reduce processing
and packaging costs. There will be significant savings too in supply chain costs. Growers routinely ‘give away’ crop by supplying
over-sized heads. However, this means that less heads are packed in each tray, adversely impacting transportation costs.
RoboVeg is capable of working in very low light levels and is well suited to working during
the night. This is advantageous as harvesting
at night when ambient temperatures are lower improves both shelf life and product quality
and could potentially reduce refrigeration costs.
For the first time, growers can access real-time management information about the harvest
as it is taking place. This data can be accessed remotely using RoboVeg's onboard communications hub and CCTV facilities.
The length of the stalk on a cut head of broccoli plays an important role in determining how long
it can be kept in cool storage.
The harvester is able to cut broccoli at a precise point below the highest point of the crown of the head. This cutting height is determined by the grower and can be quickly and easily adjusted
to suit his needs.
The ability to cut heads uniformly at a height
to suit stock management requirements will therefore be a useful tool for growers.