Good Fruit Grower

March 15

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28 MARCH 15, 2016 Good Fruit Grower A California company that is developing a vacuum apple picker with support from the Washington T ree F ru it R es ea rc h Commission has made significant progress on a prototype and is working to raise capital for commercial development. Abundant Robotics Inc., a spinoff of SRI International, hosted closed sessions at several Washington orchards last fall to evaluate and demonstrate the efficacy of the machinery for some growers, picking thousands of apples in the process. The company will be in Australia in April to test newly added technologies before returning to Washington again this fall for further evaluation, according to Dr. Curt Salisbury, Abundant's chief technology officer. The Research Commission has already appropriated $550,000 toward the project so far, and Salisbury delivered a progress report at the Commission's Technology Research Review in Ellensburg, Wash- ington, in February. "We're extremely passionate about this and really excited," he said. "We're grateful to do something that could potentially have an impact." The technology Salisbury said he and the research team went into this project from the perspective that there were two issues to resolve. One involved perception — how does the machine differentiate fruit from leaves — and the other revolved around getting fruit off the trees without bruising it. The researchers had already deter- mined that a vacuum-based picker could Growers get peek at picking MACHINE California company shares progress on vacuum end-effector. by Shannon Dininny ©2016 Meadow Creature, LLC MeadowCreature.Com ® Or Give Us a Call 360-329-2250 MAKE CIDER WITH EASE - - MEADOW CREATURE ® Commercial quality at a family price–the AVALON ® Get the Chinook FAN BLADE ADVANTAGE! TRITON V-10 TRITON 5.4 PROPANE FUEL INJECTION IVECO NEF 6.7 DIESEL 2921 Sutherland Park Drive Yakima, WA 98903-1891 ENGINEERING RELIABILITY & PERFORMANCE I've been doing business with H.F. Hauff Company since 1978. They engineer their products with a farmer's needs in mind and have tre- mendous integrity. I like the fact that they stay in touch with their growers. • Victair Sprayers are reliable and built to use for a long time. Application windows can be short and you just can't afford to have down time. Any necessary repairs are simple to make. • Wind machines are my insurance plan. In today's world, you cannot afford to lose a crop. If you save just a quarter of a crop, you have paid for the machines. • No under-prop dead-air zone The way other props are designed, they don't push air down around the tower like the Chinook blade. • The Chinook puts out 30% more air, so you can stretch the towers out farther or get more air movement • 30% savings in fuel, it's huge! Chinook wind machines use less fuel because the machines are more efficient. BILL HENRI NAMPA, CALIFORNIA 509-248-0318 fax 509-248-0914 TOLL FREE 855-855-0318

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