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Researchers develop infrared vegetable harvesting robot, to the disgust of children everywhere

Joseph L. Flatley
August 12, 2009
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Researchers at England's National Physical Laboratory are working on a device that uses a modified microwave measurement system, terahertz and far-infrared radio frequencies, and a clever cauliflower detection algorithm to let robots "see" beneath -- and harvest -- crops that current technology cannot. So far, the imaging system has been successfully demonstrated in the lab, sparking the interest of at least one UK lettuce grower, and it looks like a product could be commercially available as early as next year. According to Dr. Richard Dudley, Project Lead at NPL, the team began by focusing on cauliflower crops because they're both "one of the hardest" to measure, and totally gross.

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