Robotic Sorting Powered by Color-Sensing Camera

Taylor Hillman Special Reports, Technology, Tree, nut & vine crops

Camera technology is driving robotic sorting innovations in the almond industry. A Bratney Companies machine that debuted at the Almond Board of California’s annual conference a few years ago is gaining popularity due to the flexibility of the machine.

Robotic Sorter

Bratney field service manager for northern California, Eric Pflueger, says almond growers can use the color detection technology to change what the machine looks for to either keep or eliminate. The almonds move down a conveyor belt, passing under the sensor camera. A robotic arm is located a few feet farther down on the conveyor, and when the sensor catches something it’s programmed to look for, the arm positions itself above the object and suctions it off the belt. Pflueger says the system doesn’t slow down the sorting process much, if at all. Stay with AgNet West for more on the machine.

More About the Sorter

From Bratney Companies: The reputation of an almond sorting operation is predicated on speed, quality, consistency and productivity. Those companies that consistently produce the highest quality product in the shortest amount of time can separate themselves from the competition. Your picking team may comprise of the fastest, most experienced pickers in the industry, but even the best employees are prone to fatigue and human error. Or, they may incur job-related injuries that lead to workmen’s compensation claims. To guarantee your operation consistently produces a high quality product in a timely manner – while reducing the likelihood of workmen’s compensation claims – consider your best alternative: automation. The ICE Robotic Pick and Sort System is quick, consistent, accountable, and resilient. It’s the perfect worker for any almond sorting operation. Read more from Bratney.