Why the plastic wrap on the ground?


It is reflective mylar. Some varieties of apple only turn red when sunlight hits the skin. So they are half green and half red when harvestable. Putting a reflective surface on the ground bounces the light to places it don't normally shine, giving them red coloration all over. These are late maturing apples picked in the fall.


This guy apples


He apples hard...


I think I need some mylar undies....


Green dick?


This person is correct. They put the reflective material down to help develop color on certain apple varieties. Source: I work for an ag producer that grows apples, we do this in a lot of our orchards leading up to harvest.


All fun and games until it comes for your apples!!


Not my apples!!


How about them apples!


You mean them apples!?


Yes, them apples.


Top left is slacking off. He better get his shit together and get back to work!


TL, as he is known in robotic apple picker circles, is a notorious slacker from way back. He's bounced from job to job, most recently at Amazon where he was fired for groping a bent over coworker.


What a piece of shit!


Arm below him clearly wants a raise. Must be the new guy.


He’s having trouble getting with the program.


Well, how you like them apples?


Applesauce Bitch!




They programmed it to pick apples. They never programmed it to stop. Now it's trying to optimize the number of apples there are to pick...by any means necessary.


Searching for more apples....Parameter not set... Including Adam's apple... Preparing best method of excising ripe Adam's apple from humans...


First it came for the apples. Then it came for the pears. When it came for the peaches, we knew it was time to fight back.


My father is a circus clown and got his nose ripped off by one of these. It was actually programmed to say “Got your nose” in Robocop’s voice.


Hungry For Apples?


But it was peer tested in a state of the art simulation!


How does a machine like this go home at night and have sex with its wife?!


It's going home to have sex with your wife


My man!


Lookin’ good!


Hide my kids?! Hide my wife?! They harvestin everybody up in here


I've got apples too, are you going to harvest me?


This machine is my wife


Psh. That's just a rip off of "Got Milk?"






Listen, and understand. That apple picker is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever!!!


That damn apple stealing whore!!


So long as it doesn't go for a certain someone's cabbages...


Or your banana.


Occasionally I suffer from sleep paralysis and at the foot of my bed I see this machine slowly approaching, ready to harvest


The ball stealer 9000


From harvesting apples to plucking grapes and taking seeds, the Nut Snatcher 69420 can remove any low hanging fruit from the thickest of bushes.


Fucking gold.


Thanks I'm a little high right now


Well smoke another and enter a short story writing contest.


God dammit Don, you’ve done it again!


Almost as painful as the ass pounder 4000


You spelled pleasurable wrong


“Where are my testicles, Summer?”


The Testie Taker (something me and my buddy thought of last year)


This shit is like the matrix. Someday, humans will be grown on bioengineered trees in an open air library and we'll be arranged according to our blood type and organ quality. This dark steel librarian machine will stroll down the aisle to scan our barcode and harvest our body parts according to the current requisition from hq and patch up any injured and failing bodies under the background on thunder and rain in the night.


Has anyone compared this to the goblin tunnel cleaning machine from The Labyrinth yet because ... this is it.


It’s the cleaners!






Oubliette. It's a French word, from "forget."


Yeah it’s also the name of that part of a dungeon they just threw people down into and left there


My ghost would be hollering all over that castle after dying. Forget me now bitch!


some 'castle haunt' stories are very likely to be exactly this. Some Oubliettes were above ground, in the walls between rooms. The idea was that they would be able to hear the goings-on in the castle, in order to torture them with the idea that they are so close to freedom. Some oubliettes were created such that you didn't have height to stand up, some that you didn't have space to sit down. Some with neither. THEREFORE Some people thrown into these were unable to stand, sit, or lay down (just kinda lean against the wall), and they were only like 6-12 inches from open space. They would be starving in this tortured state. So they would scream, cry, yell, sob, and generally be able to be heard by people nearby, and sometimes only the people who 'needed to know' were the ones who knew about where the oubliette is. So yeah. Fodder for ghost stories and nightmares right there.


Left there to… forget about


Drop you down the "forget" sounds terrifying


Look it up, it IS one of the most terrifying and cruel ways to punish someone.


Tell me this is what you really believed they were saying, please


Thanks for nothing Hogwart. Ohhhhhh it’s HOGGLE


It took their jerbs!


Durrkaa durrrrr!!!!


Ehhh I’d say they’re still safe. Counted 22 apples across two trees in a minute, I dropped out of the apple picking elective after year 3 but I could still demolish that thing.


Ok but this thing can work the entire day until it needs repairs or maintenance.


And it doesn't complain


Or spend its time on Reddit telling strangers how fast it works.


Could probably program that bit in though






also won't shit in the field contaminating the crop


"Does a farmer shit in the field?" should be the new "does a bear shit in the woods?". I don't know if they actually do that, but it feels more relatable. I've never seen a bear shit before. I can clearly envision shitting in a field of crops.


I don't need repairs nor maintenance until I die.


You're clearly under 30.


Or he eats an apple a day.


They for sure are (Also I’m ur 30th upvote)


But you do need sleep


Lots of humans need repairs and are high maintenance. This thing will also work 3x more hours than most people.


So will your average migrant


But the upside is no hard labor for humans. Just get a few extra machines and you have tireless labor.


That thing's got at least four tires.


Well damn, you got me


Then we could all live in a utopia with a 10 hour work week! Or we could let the rich profit more just like with every major labor reducing advance since the industrial revolution


I'm sitting pretty comfortably compared to my ancestors 200 years ago, thank you very much. 99% of the people reading this comment are too.


Downside is there's no basic income to support the labourers who lost their jobs and we still live in pre scarcity world.


Well we can either deal with looming automation or we can smash the apple picking machine and I really want to avoid that because I like eating apples but I don't want to pick them myself.


It doesn't sleep. Or pee. Or hit on the boss's wife.


The wife has her own set of attachments for it.


Good. Throwing back-breaking human labor at repetitive tasks that a robot can do easily is now pointless. Hooray for automation.


That only works if you have a system that cares about people’s welfare. If not the people will go from back-breaking labor to abject poverty. Technology is only helpful if we actually decide to help people. If we decide poor people just deserve it then no, technology won’t benefit them.


Absolutely this. With the rise of AI, all jobs are in threat. If we have no safety net system for people while they train for jobs in entirely new field, the percentage of poverty and homelessness will skyrocket. Technobros always say robots will do everything while humans will live to the fullest, but they missing the fact that ONLY corporations and people at the top own robots, not to mention creative/entertainment work is sidewashed too (GPT-3 and DALL-E 2, anyone? It won't take long until AI can make music too.) The more likely result is a dystopian society where everyone is poor and in debt with corporates because they can't get a job as every job is replaced with automation. Only managing, robot-engineering/fixing and IT will be left, the competition will be nightmarish, and outside the top 1%, rampant depression and societal breakdown spreads everywhere.


>IT will be left Yep, we will still be asking you if you tried turning it off and on again in 3055.


wouldn't AI just eventually be able to do it all? at some point it will just fix itself and won't need people at all anymore..


I work in automation. You are correct our goal is to remove all jobs that are not IT and tech, we will achieve this in time.


I keep thinking about how automation is going to replace fine jewelry repair. How is a robut gonna fix gam gam's ring the hospital mangled so she can wear it again to fit over her new arthritis knuckle? I once saw an article that said goldsmiths were gonna get automated, I'm like... fucking how lol.


Doubtful that can be automated imo, most things can be but certain things will never be automated without highly advanced robots which will never happen in our lifetime.


>Only managing, robot-engineering/fixing and IT will be left Management will be from a simple graphical dashboard, AI will handle all financial analysis and generate all business documents. The robots will be designed by some kind of procedural design toolkit to meet certain specs. IT will be an automated troubleshooting process. It's going to be hereditary asset owners versus the rest of us. I predict the justification for this will be misplaced environmentalism. If all humans had share Earth's resources while expecting a technological lifestyle there would have to be compromises and some hard sacrifices to balance things out. But if a few humans got everything for free in comfort they could live in a paradise of unlimited consumption and get absolutely everything they want, while the rest of us get thrust back to the middle ages outside the fence. Which I am sure they would see as wholesome and pastoral and convince some idiots to think the same. They'll offer to help just like how real life NGO's and charities "help" third world people, by teaching them how to dig "sustainable latrines" or offer micro-credit to buy goats to empower women so they can sell goat milk. It will fucking suck.


I fully agree with you. But I am coming from the place I've already having been replaced by technology; I was an analog film projectionist for 14 years as my first career, before I piloted the digital cinema systems that would replace me. There was nothing to transition to, no retraining, no lateral transfer... I had to find my own new way forward. It sucks, and I don't want that to be the case, but it was the case for me, and I'm glad to see the evolution that happened in cinema, even though it cost me my job. I just lost a ghostwriting gig due to AI. I'm currently using AI for various projects as well. This is a tremendously interesting time to be alive, and the growing pains are immense well we transition menial labor into an automated workforce of robots. I don't have the answers, but I do have the perspective of someone that has been directly affected by automation, and I'm still trying to find my way, but still kickin it. People will find other jobs, and the robots can do the shitty jobs that people should not even be doing. ... Not that film projection was a shitty job, far from it, but you know what I mean...


I was a typesetter who technology put out of work. (Desktop publishing)


Dannnnng that's cool, you being a type setter, not the extinction of your profession... So neat that typesetting is why we say uppercase and lowercase. Solidarity and greetings from your fellow antiquated analog fossil :)


Can you say more about losing your ghostwriting job to an AI? I’d never find joy in someone else losing a job, but this is absolutely fascinating. In my work as a physician, well-designed AI is already better than we are in several areas. I specialize in neurodegenerative diseases and there‘a a well-known study showing that a specialist is able to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with about 80-85% accuracy. There’s a newly developed AI model that predicts the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease based solely off of an MRI and is nearly as accurate as a dementia specialist. I think the only reason physicians won’t be displaced by AI in the near future is that people trust me with their life more than they trust a computer. Once society gets over the fear of trusting a computer with their life, practicing medicine will be something we read about in history books.


Amazing, the advancements being made merging AI with medical fields is phenomenal. From a Sci-Fi author standpoint, this is definitely the way of the future. But from a human-patient standpoint, I will still want a human doctor interfacing with me, even if they are working with an AI to interpret or diagnose. Do you think your work with neurodegenerative diseases will soon be augmented by this technology? Do you know how far away you are from working with AI in your practice? As for me and the ghostwriting, I had one client in particular who I was writing SEO articles for. When you're trying to balance content for a human reader and the Google algorithm, it really comes down to using words and phrases a certain number of times, it's all very formulaic. I know there is change happening with SEO, but AI writing is opening up a ton of creative fields, writing included, and is here to stay. I would love to work with someone to feed an AI all my work (the majority of which is still unpublished) to see what I can make it do. I would love to be the first author openly writing with an AI partner (actually, not like the posts that are claiming to do this as a joke). Meanwhile I've spent the last month and a half working with the mid Journey AI to test the limits of art creation. It's been super fun, but I do see yet another field full of creative people that are absolutely reeling, having to find their new way in this changing paradigm.


Do also consider the fact that harvesting apples this way would lead to way cheaper apples than hiring human labor. Over 90% of all of humanity worked in agriculture before the industrial revolution.


> Technology is only helpful if we actually decide to help people. If we decide poor people just deserve it then no, technology won’t benefit them. It's not about saying "poor people just deserve it." People also have to realize that technology isn't just going away. It's here and rather than bitching about how jobs are getting replaced, one is better off training for skills related to maintaining those machines. Are people going to get fucked? Absolutely. That's going to happen and I don't think there is anything any of us can do about it. About all we can do is spread the word and make sure we have a plan for when it happens to us personally, and do everything we can to ensure we have the skills to execute said plan when the time comes.


Hell yeah automation! The fruit growers in Australia have been having such a monumental cry about how they can't find anyone who wants to get paid like $2 an hour to do this back-breaking work in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere out in the sun 24/7 (Australia has 24/7 sun ok). Crying rivers over how the pandemic obliterated their slave labor trade of backpackers and 351-VISA (basically international slave-trade) holders. And they've been cry, cry, crying for the government to basically open the flood gates to let in even more slave-trade so they can get people to pick their fucking fruit that's been "rotting on the tree" for like years. Fuck you Australian fruit growers, get automated or get fucked.


Apple picking isn’t that repetitive, as far as harvesting goes. Well, at least not traditional apple harvesting, we don’t have these type of orchards in my area. Our trees are tree shaped.


Came here to say this


I like it but I wanna understand how it works


I believe that it is using colour sensors to determine where the apples are. This would explain why it's nighttime and why there are such extremely bright white lights when it's a robot. The sun can mess with color sensing because the sun doesn't give us a good white light, throwing off the color. After the ai has determined where an apple is, it gives 3D space coordinates to the arms that pick it. Obviously super over simplified but this would be the general concept.


Nice that makes sense. That’s the part I was wondering about is how it identifies them.


I know a group that worked on harvesting strawberries robotically, they spent a while on the code to get the machine to test for stiffness of the berry to determine ripeness. Unsure if that's happening here, but neat stuff regardless!


I work in robotics and automation. It’s using classification most likely. You can teach it what an apple will look like and then it scores it when it finds something that is likely to be an apple. A confidence interval is what we call it. If it is above a certain threshold it sends a signal to pick the apple. Sends X Y Z coordinates using probably a couple vision systems to the End of arm tooling/gripper


Most likely using a circular Hough transform after applying a mask for certain HSV or HSL values (depends on what cameras they're using) I both researched this and did it myself for my masters thesis. Can post some papers that show how it's done since I have them on hand (specifically with green apples) Edit: Want to point out /u/csp256 actually worked on an orchard and the Hough transform is not robust enough to work in a real-time orchard without extensive and specific tuning, which they don't do. Seems like my research is dated. I also used MEC with fast corner detection and SIFT for object detection, but my thesis was not on apples, just on CV detecting round objects with humanoid robots. My actual thesis was more about reinforcement learning with CV as the approach. I wrote this comment flippantly without accurately portraying what the real-world situation would be like in "modern" day. Submit all further questions to /u/csp256 as he/she is much more knowledgeable about this interaction than I am.


Awesome. Appreciate the detailed response. I’m far from doing a masters thesis on something like this.


no, Hough transform is wayyy too fragile for a real world orchard


Same here!


what happens if I paint my balls red


Testicular torsion


Free vasectomy


Now you have red balls.


> sun doesn't give us a good white light Sun gives off the perfect white light. https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/189220


Ever done manual photography outside during different points of the day?


The sun might, but after having passed through the atmosphere, clouds, pollution, humidity, bounced off all sorts of ground materials and back down from clouds, etc. the result can likely be confusing for computers trying to figure out the ripeness of an apple against a nice sunrise.


high value fruits are usually harvested at night because they last longer - this is the "low stress" period of the day for the tree and fruit.


I was thinking it may be some sort of computer vision. I think we’re at a point where it’s not that prohibitive to train an AI on what an apple looks like, slap a camera on a bunch of metal arms, and make a machine that can “pick” the most “apple-y” thing it can see.


Must take great care in not smushing apples with huge robot strength.... I am picturing this robot being super sweet and tender with the apples.


they wont have give the robot claws more strenght than necessay to pick the apples (bigger motors+more material=more cost and weight) and they are most likely heavily padded to boot.


This can't be a problem anymore right? Self driving tech wouldn't work at all if we couldn't do simple classification tasks like this during the day.


Judging by the lighting and general slowness of the arms, my best guess is a number of camera using AI to find apples on a tree, judge where they are, and then send the robot arm to get it.


Calling it "AI" is extremely generous. This is just plain old color sorting with a picking machine. Source: Am engineer who used to design color sorters.


You probably need some computer vision, not only for the fruit and ripeness recognition but also for the relative position to the claw.


It picks apples with robot arms


That’s what it does… not how it works.


My guess would be a vision system that sees the apples and then a logic set that tells the robot how it can approach and pick the apple based on its found position. I used to program robots, so that’s how I’d go about it.


Very carefully picks apples with robot arms


There are also wheat machines that can identify green among the golden wheat, and then strategically spray Roundup to kill the weed. Isn’t technology amazing?!


Give it lightsabers and fight General Grievous.


This is actually really cool


“You pick apples.” Harvester, looking down at his claws “Oh my god.”


Nothing terrifying about this. Agribots are amazing.


Agribots, transform and roll out




NO DISASSEMBLE! #5 is alive!


Hey, laser lips, your mama was a snow blower




Yeah, that's awesome.


This is solarpunk as hell! The future is now!


*scared apple noises*






Apples not touched by humans! Mmmm….


Those are apple trees??


Yeah, why isn't anyone talking about how weird those "apple trees" look?


Commercial orchards have gone to special dwarf rootstocks that are supported on trellises. Easier to pick and maintain and the rootstocks still make the variety pump out lots of fruit (just on brittle wood that needs support)


They are espalier trees aka trellised. It's a method of high density pruning and support for higher yields in less time.


Looks like a Tim Burton movie.


Edward Harvest Hands


This is some seussian shit


just needs some white gloves and a smokestack.


Nos quitaron los trabajos!




I was super hoping to see this reference here!


Agent Smith: You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Anderson… Neo: My name… is Neo.


General Kenobi!!!


Equally important but totally opaque to the casual observer is how the orchard manages their trees. Looks like a “tall spindle” system where the trees are like 10 feet tall, 2 feet wide and only a foot thick. This system obviously has a huge advantage during robotic harvesting but it’s also a great labor saving system during pruning. Trees are spaced only a couple feet apart within the rows. Rows are barely wide enough to get a small tractor down pulling pruning and harvesting equipment.


Damn! This is so trrrifying that i think im gonna have sleepless nights.


There’s no way this is cheaper than paying people to do it.


i can guarantee you that in its current iteration it isnt our harvester needed to maintain 1 a second to be financially viable


first its apples, then its humans


There are fields, Neo, endless fields where human beings are no longer born...we are grown.


Westworld piano starts


How much do these cost?


Well...people didn’t want immigrants to do the jobs they did not want to do.




This is incredible! Are there any other examples of AI use in farming? This seems like such a significant point in human history that agricultural tasks are being handed off to the computers. Amazing.


Thank you for posting something that is actually oddly terrifying


If only some medieval apple farmers could see this thing. It would either be a demon or god to them.


What is the source of this video?


How much does one of those cost?


Apple pickers in upstate NY actually get paid a pretty high dollar amount. It's also work that almost no Americans want to do because it's hard and dangerous.


there was a single summer (in the 50s?) where they tried to get american teens interested in apple picking as part of a government summer program it was a dumpster fire


Here's a pretty good article on how hard it is. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/23/448579214/inside-the-life-of-an-apple-picker


another right back at you: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/07/31/634442195/when-the-u-s-government-tried-to-replace-migrant-farmworkers-with-high-schoolers


It's the MIGUEL 5000


Terrifying ? He’s a helpful friend 🥺


Finally content that fits the sub!


shit look like the matrix


You think thats an apple youre eating?


Looks scary.


As an employee within the automation industry I welcome these robotic apple picking overlords.


Mini bosses are already here!⚠️🤖


Thank you! Finally something that's actually ODDLY terrifying


Matrix sentinel feeding you your nutrient orb


This reminds me of one of those robot bosses in old school Chip & Dale video games.


Think of the handy J you could get from that