In order to optimise cultivation processes in the production of vegetables and make them more sustainable, Royal Brinkman has developed a harvest forecasting robot for tomatoes - the Plantalyzer - in collaboration with WUR, LetsGrow and Berg Hortimotive Group. The robot travels through the greenhouse autonomously and takes targeted photographs of the tomatoes. Algorithms assess the fruit for ripeness, and translate the images into a reliable and accurate harvest forecast. The collaboration is unique thanks to high quality hardware and intelligent software. A measurement protocol has been developed for reliable random sample data collection, and photographs taken at three different heights in order to be able to track the crop and fruit development.
The jury said: The Plantalyzer from Royal Brinkman/Hortikey is a clear example of a ‘first mover’ in the field of autonomous systems for harvest forecasting. The practical introduction of the system is being developed as part of Royal Brinkman. What is thereby notable is that they are working on the automation from greenhouse to packing as part of Hortilogics, a partnership for full-service turnkey automation, and are therefore having an impact on a large proportion of the supply chain.