The development of mechanical apple harvesting technology: A review

Z. Zhang, P. H. Heinemann, J. Liu, T. A. Baugher, J. R. Schupp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (SciVal)


Harvest is one of the most challenging production tasks in apple production. It is a labor-intensive operation, and mechanization has been slow in development for a myriad of reasons. With increasing labor costs and decreasing availability of harvest employees, researchers have been focusing on mechanical apple harvest technologies. Studies on semi-automatic harvesters, harvest robots, and harvest-assist platforms target development of mechanical apple harvesting. Semi-automatic harvesters for fresh market apples have not been commercialized due to unacceptably high incidence of apple bruising. Harvest robots have not been commercialized due to their high costs and low efficiency. Apple harvest-assist platforms are a technology that has the potential to be more widely commercialized based on the current research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1165-1180
Number of pages16
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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