Next steps in automated apple picking

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MOSES LAKE, Wash. — Automated Ag Systems, of Moses Lake, and DBR Conveyor Concepts, of Conklin, Mich., are field testing a hybrid system they say will be the best harvest assist for apples short of robotic pickers.

The system features DBR vacuum tubes replacing picker bags and mounted on Automated Ag’s self-propelled Bandit Express picking platform. It will be an affordable tool significantly improving efficiency until and perhaps beyond the advent of commercial robotic pickers in five to eight years, the companies’ principals say.

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