The market for fresh mushrooms in the UK is worth £450m and growing annually. However, growers both in the UK and globally are facing serious shortages of labour as fresh mushrooms must be picked by hand to prevent bruising and damage.
While robotic harvesters have the potential to ease the labour crisis, there is currently no robotic picking system commercially available to pick fresh mushrooms.
This Ceres project is developing a second generation mushroom-picking robot prototype that can pick the whole crop, including challenging dense clusters. This will help address the harvesting crisis, as well as giving productivity and yield gains.