Robotics for Plant Production

Naoshi Kondo, K. C. Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Applying robotics in plant production requires the integration of robot capabilities, plant culture, and the work environment. Commercial plant production requires certain cultural practices to be performed on the plants under certain environmental conditions. Some of the environmental conditions are mostly natural and some are modified or controlled. In many cases, the required cultural practices dictate the layout and materials flow of the production system. Both the cultural and environmental factors significantly affect when, where and how the plants are manipulated. Several cultural practices are commonly known in the plant production industry. The ones which have been the subject of robotics research include division and transfer of plant materials in micropropagation, transplanting of seedlings, sticking of cuttings, grafting, pruning, and harvesting of fruit and vegetables. The plants are expected to change their shape and size during growth and development. Robotics technology includes many sub-topics including the manipulator mechanism and its control, end-effector design, sensing techniques, mobility, and workcell development. The robots which are to be used for performing plant cultural tasks must recognize and understand the physical properties of each unique object and must be able to work under various environmental conditions in fields or controlled environments. This article will present some considerations and examples of robotics development for plant production followed by a description of the key components of plant production robots. A case study on developing a harvesting robot for an up-side-down single truss tomato production system will also be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-243
Number of pages17
JournalArtificial Intelligence Review
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Automation
  • End-effector
  • Manipulator
  • Plant cultural practice
  • Robotics
  • Traveling device
  • Visual sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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  • Cite this

    Kondo, N., & Ting, K. C. (1998). Robotics for Plant Production. Artificial Intelligence Review, 12(1-3), 227-243.