The five: robot farmers

Will robots be the answer to labour shortages on farms? Our pick of the best planting, weeding and harvesting machines

Last week a startup based at Plymouth University unveiled the world’s first raspberry-picking robot. The machine can pick about 25,000 berries a day, which is 10,000 more than a human during an eight-hour shift. Raspberries are particularly challenging for machines to harvest because the robots have to identify ripe fruit and handle the soft berries without damaging them. The firm intends to lease the robots to farmers at a rate that would undercut the cost of employing human fruit pickers.

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