Mechanical Cherry Harvester

Jan. 25, 2007
Cherries are the most labor-intensive fruit-crop and one of the fastest growing fresh fruit exports in the Northwest.

Julie Kalista
Online Editor


Cherry harvest costs typically account for 50 to 60% of annual expenses for growers, according to researchers at Washington State University (WSU). With this in mind, researchers at WSU began developing a mechanical cherry harvester.

Matt Whiting, a WSU researcher, estimates that a mechanical cherry harvester could save producers about 24 cents per pound. WSU's two-unit mechanical harvester propels itself through an orchard while the operator uses joysticks to extend and retract a mechanical arm that shakes cherries loose from the branches. They then fall on a soft catching surface draped over rollers. The rollers push cherries onto a conveyor belt where they sit under a fan that blows away leaves. Finally, the fruit rolls into a packing box. The harvester could reduce harvest labor costs by 80 to 90%.

The team is evaluating the efficiency, fruit-quality, and consumer acceptance of this stem-free harvester. If consumers don't accept stemless cherries, the technology may have little value. In addition, research is also needed on the shelf life of stemless cherries.

More Information:
Washington State University

This web-only article appears in the Mechanical monthly email newsletter. If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more like it, sign up today for our free email newsletters!

Sponsored Recommendations

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.


May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Solenoid Valve Basics: What They Are, What They Do, and How They Work

May 13, 2024
A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device used to control the flow of a liquid or gas. It is comprised of two features: a solenoid and a valve. The solenoid is an electric...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!