Penn State: Engineers Working on a Better Blueberry Picker

Penn State engineers are working on a research project that could boost efficiency for the blueberry harvest. The project is being pursued in collaboration with 14 researchers from the University of California-Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Michigan State University, Mississippi State University, North Carolina State University, Oregon State University, Penn State and Washington State University.

The blueberry industry in the United States has experienced a sort of Renaissance over the past three decades, as total production has increased fourfold. This makes for a huge opportunity for innovators who can improve on the current harvest method: hand picking.

“The overall goal … is to advance harvest efficiency and improve postharvest handling of fresh-market highbush blueberries by developing a scale-neutral harvest-aid system and advanced sensor technologies,” said Charlie Li, the principal investigator.

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