Robotic Packing and Sorting


About the Technology

The Lyro robotic unit is an autonomous, stand-alone packing and sorting unit. The unit was originally designed for use in warehouse distribution operations and adapted for horticultural applications in this trial. The unit uses advanced vision
systems and machine learning to accurately identify and pick up various types of fruits and vegetables, and then sort them into designated bins or packing boxes The system can be programmed to recognise produce based on its size, shape, color, and
other characteristics.

The Trial

This trial involved three phases:
PHASE 1 – A prototype Lyro robotic unit was incorporated into a commercial zucchini packing line for 1 week. Zucchinis were required to be selected from the passing conveyor belt and packed into boxes using a predetermined pattern typical of the grower’s manually packed boxes. This was the first time a Lyro unit had been deployed for this task, and the purpose of this phase of the trial was to inform the Lyro team on amendments and improvements required for Phases 2 and 3.

PHASE 2 – Based on data and observations from Phase 1, an improved Lyro robotic unit, including new gripper design and shape detection algorithms, was incorporated into the same zucchini packing line used in Phase 1, over a 2-week period.

PHASE 3 – The improved robotic unit was also deployed for a 2-week period to sort pineapple tops by size. Pineapple tops were manually fed into the stand-alone unit via a conveyor belt.

This case study provides an overview of findings from the technology trials including:

  • Background
  • What the technology is
  • How the trial was done
  • Results
  • Cost/benefit analysis
  • Grower feedback
  • Additional considerations that should be taken into account when deciding whether to utilise the technology

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Presentation of this case study is for information purposes only. It does not constitute a commercial endorsement by the stakeholders of the Bundaberg Agtech Hub.

Trials conducted by Hinkler AgTech Initiative

The CQUniversity Hinkler AgTech Initiative was funded through the Hinkler Regional Deal. The Hinkler Regional Deal is a collaboration between the Australian Government, Bundaberg Regional Council and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

CQUniversity will not be liable for any damage arising directly or indirectly from reliance on information obtained from this document. It is provided in good faith without express or implied warranty. * All published costs and other details are current as of February 2023.