Fruit-picking robots closer to reality

It looks like Vision Robotics' would-be fleet of agriculture robots is getting a little closer to reality, with the previous crude 2D sketches of 'em now replaced with slightly less crude 3D models (among other developments). Last we heard from the company, its scout robot was still a long ways from hitting the farm, but Wired News is now reporting that Vision expects to have a prototype of it ready sometime next year, with the larger harvester bot expected to follow two or three years after that. As before, the company plans to have the scout robots plot out the best fruit-picking route, which the harvester would then follow, grabbing hard to reach fruit with the utmost delicacy -- no doubt picking up a few humans' jobs along the way.