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Smart Agriculture ›› 2022, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (2): 135-149.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.SA202202008

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Research Progress and Enlightenment of Japanese Harvesting Robot in Facility Agriculture

HUANG Zichen1(), SUGIYAMA Saki2   

  1. 1.Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 6068502, Japan
    2.School of Literature, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Hangzhou 310058, China
  • Received:2022-02-18 Online:2022-06-30 Published:2022-08-04
  • corresponding author: HUANG Zichen E-mail:huang.zichen.22c@kyoto-u.jp


Intelligent equipment is necessary to ensure stable, high-quality, and efficient production of facility agriculture. Among them, intelligent harvesting equipment needs to be designed and developed according to the characteristics of fruits and vegetables, so there is little large-scale mechanization. The intelligent harvesting equipment in Japan has nearly 40 years of research and development history since the 1980s, and the review of its research and development products has specific inspiration and reference significance. First, the preferential policies that can be used for harvesting robots in the support policies of the government and banks to promote the development of facility agriculture were introduced. Then, the development of agricultural robots in Japan was reviewed. The top ten fruits and vegetables in the greenhouse were selected, and the harvesting research of tomato, eggplant, green pepper, cucumber, melon, asparagus, and strawberry harvesting robots based on the combination of agricultural machinery and agronomy was analyzed. Next, the commercialized solutions for tomato, green pepper, and strawberry harvesting system were detailed and reviewed. Among them, taking the green pepper harvesting robot developed by the start-up company AGRIST Ltd. in recent years as an example, the harvesting robot developed by the company based on the Internet of Things technology and artificial intelligence algorithms was explained. This harvesting robot can work 24 h a day and can control the robot's operation through the network. Then, the typical strawberry harvesting robot that had undergone four generations of prototype development were reviewed. The fourth-generation system was a systematic solution developed by the company and researchers. It consisted of high-density movable seedbeds and a harvesting robot with the advantages of high space utilization, all-day work, and intelligent quality grading. The strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and future trends of prototype and industrialized solutions developed by universities were also summarized. Finally, suggestions for accelerating the development of intelligent, smart, and industrialized harvesting robots in China's facility agriculture were provided.

Key words: facility agriculture, Japan, harvesting robot, unmanned/less manned system, fruit and vegetable identification, end effector

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