ALIEN

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 , to ensure that only grapes meeting the wineries' quality standard are used in winemaking. in order to improve the quality of the wine.

ALIEN equipment is installed is placed after the stalk separator. The harvestingted grapes are dropped on a variable speed conveyor. With a new innovative 3D image recognition software, products being fed in are accurately detected and precisely picked up by a robotic tool.  First, a camera films the harvest. The optical device analyzes the color and the size of the berries, detects the presence (or not) of leaves or stalk and their position on the conveyor belt. finally point out the position of the items.

Two 2 Delta « spider » robots mounted downstream are then placed on a steel frame can then pick the defective items and place them in a reject bin. Each robot consists of 3 arms made of light materials and a Ventury based end effector. As a result, the moving parts of the Delta robots have a small inertia. This allows for very high speed and high accelerations . 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 system performs continuous quality inspections by detecting defective products on the basis of predefined specifications, processing up to 8 tons of grapes per hour.

To control ALIEN, the machine-Operator can selects various programs on the touch-screen interface.  He can choose From eliminating to eliminate only the green berries and stalks to or the pink berries or and the red stalks.