ARM Hub participated in a project investigating the feasibility of automating banana de-handing, in collaboration with Hort Innovation and the Australian Banana Growers Council, to provide the banana industry with information on what is required to progress towards automation.
Banana de-handing is the action of separating the banana hand (fruit) from the bunch stalk (stalk).
A key advancement in recent years is computer vision, an AI tool to help robots adapt to natural variation.
In the case of banana de-handing, computer vision built into the robotic system can identify appropriate cutting locations, assisted by the contrasting green and black abscission line present where the hand connects to the stalk.
Challenges include sap, delicate banana skins and, of course, the use of knives and other cutting tools in close proximity to other staff.