AGRIST to showcase harvesting robot to identify pick-ready crops at CES 2023
Image via AGRIST

AGRIST robot
The robot can identify ripe bell peppers, and clip and collect them.

Japanese agritech startup AGRIST will showcase its artificial intelligence-powered harvesting robot at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Jan. 5-8. 

The robot is capable of identifying and picking harvest-ready bell peppers, using millimeter precision through thickly layered leaves. 

The robot is designed to reduce farmers’ workload by patrolling farms daily to monitor plant growth and provide growers with advice on optimal farm management. 

The robot, called “L,” earned a CES 2023 Innovation Award in the robotics category.

“Bell peppers grow in random directions on stems, requiring a lot of skilled labor to harvest them. But that will soon be a story of yesterday’s farming, thanks to our ‘L’ robot,” AGRIST CEO Junichi Saito said. “What makes ‘L’ special isn’t just its brain and eyes, or our proprietary AI algorithm and special camera system. The robot is also designed to fit with any existing farm layout without modifications, making AI harvesting more accessible to farmers.”

Bell peppers are a prominent Florida crop, growing in the Sunshine State from October through June. California leads the nation in overall production of bell peppers, but most bell peppers sold and consumed in the U.S. from October through June come from Florida crops, according to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

The robot can identify each pepper’s position, size and maturity, as well as its precise clipping point. 

The robot works through a series of cameras, an AI algorithm and recognition models created for different parts of the pepper. It slides along suspension wires installed on farms. The suspension system can be retrofitted to existing farm layouts. 

‘L’ includes an end-effector on an arm that draws in stems until it reaches the target pepper, then clips it and is able to fold to drop the pepper into a collection box. 

While patrolling the farm, ‘L’ collects 3D data and analyzes the number of days required for peppers to mature, predicts crop volume and offers analysis on how to optimize growth. 

The robot costs about $10,000, which AGRIST says is far less than the $73,000 for conventional harvesting robots.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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