Burros in table grapes

  • Burros have been extensively perfected in table grape production in the US over the past five years.
  • Burros are designed to progressively enable automation of crops like table grapes, beginning with autonomous movement of fruit from the field and building towards crop-data analysis and high-dexterity autonomy (picking, pruning, etc.).
  • Today, Burros typically support six to eight people per unit and yield 15 to 40+ percent gains per person.

How are Burros used in table grape production?

Within table grapes, Burros can carry or act as harvest-assist devices, capture crop data, and serve as a platform for tasks like UV lighting for powdery mildew treatment.


Scouting and capturing
crop data

Platform for tasks including
UV lighting and picking

ROI in harvest assist

  • Burros can generate 10 to 50 percent gains depending on layout, fruit volume, and other parameters.
  • The chart below illustrates gains observed in A/B comparisons in production settings in the 2020-2022 harvest seasons.

How are they used in harvest assist?

This video provides helpful information about how to ensure Burros operate as expected when working. In short, users should ensure that work sites have relatively clean rows. Users should also push packing tables to the opposite row and select full rows so that Burros can enter/exit easily. Be sure to train crews so they understand how best to use Burro.

The images below illustrate how we see table grape growers laying out their harvesting crews on top, and the optimal way we have observed to harvest with Burros below.

Set-up 1
Six to eight people per Burro in a group

  • Videos herehere and here
  • Totes are IDed with no leaf, one leaf, a dried leaf or a stick
  • Users become a group and are responsible for operating Burros, but teams remain
  • Consistent gains of 20-30 percent

Central Field Pack
Six to eight people per Burro

  • Some growers are moving to central field pack production.  In this style use, the pack team is a production line with the process of packing broken down
  • Pickers pick field totes and scan them onto Burro (video here); data goes online for management
  • People paid individually for performance
  • 30-50%+ gains with better QC are attainable in this format, although it requires more extensive production workflow changes

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