The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given an award of $1,123,463 to the University of California, Davis to develop “relatively small, inexpensive robots” to aid in harvesting strawberries.

The announcement was made in late October as part of a series of USDA awards “to spur the development and use of robots in American agriculture production,” according to a USDA press release.

The release describes the UC Davis robotics grant as a “project (that) will develop relatively small, inexpensive robots to aid in human harvesting of strawberries.”

Dr. Stavros Vougioukas, Assistant Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis, tells that the robots are referred to as “FRAIL-bots”, short for Fragile Crop Harvest-Aiding Mobile Robots. – See more at: