An automatic robotic system to sort grapes and waste after harvest.

CITF developed a patented automatic system to sort grapes after harvest. ALIEN is a robotic system using an optical sorting technology to remove unwanted elements after the harvest, in order to improve the quality of the wine.

ALIEN is placed after the stalk separator. The harvesting grapes are dropped on a variable speed conveyor. First, a camera films the harvest. The optic device analyzes the color and the size of the berries, detects the presence (or not) of leaves or stalk and finally point out the position of the items.

2 Delta « spider » robots are then placed on a steel frame. They are able to move up and down and from right to left very quickly. At the end of their 3 arms, robots get a suction gripper ; a plastic pipe connects the nozzle to a vacuum.

When the harvesting grapes come under the robots, the arms move immediately and remove the waste. Robots can sort more than 400 unwanted items per minute, that means that ALIEN is able to sort 8 tones of grapes per hour.

To control ALIEN, the machine-operator selects the programm on the touch-screen interface.  He can choose to eliminate only the green berries and stalks or the pink berries and the red stalks.