According to Forbes magazine contributing writer Jennifer Hicks, these robots will be able to detect the fruit's ripeness, then grasp and softly detach only ripe fruit. The robots would also be able to reliably detect and classify obstacles and other objects to enable successful navigation and operation in plantations and forests. "Projects like cRrops are significant because they can accelerate sustainable development of agriculture," said Catherine Simon, founder and organizer of Innorobo, a robotics conference set for 2013.
Hicks' sources say it will take at least five more years before the whole thing could be commercialized. So why is Europe moving so slowly? “One of the main reasons is simply because robotics is still in an early stage of maturity and we continue to see projects coming out of academia, government or EU commissions,” said Simon,“Europe needs to make the shift from projects to product faster like the United States if we want to remain a leader in the the field of robotics."