Robocoast Challenge: Automation for tomato packing in a greenhouse


Robocoast is launching a challenge related to automation, robotics, machine learning and machine vision. The best proposal will be piloted. The challenge provider belongs to Robocoast ecosystem and it is the leader of the greenhouse technology usage in Europe. The challenge is open to everyone. Participants will not receive any compensation for taking part in the challenge. However, the winning company may receive a maximum of € 15,000 for creating a demo based on their proposal.

Challenge description:

The aim of the challenge is to launch a pilot where we can automate the packing line of the tomato production. There are three different tasks that needs to be automated.

  • Packing of the single tomatoes into the cardboard boxes that are to be delivered to the stores. This includes also the weighting of the box and adjusting the amount of tomatoes in the box to the nearest target limit by adding or removing tomatoes.
  • Packing the tomato truss into small 1st class cardboard box without touching the tomato itself. The truss contains from 5 to 6 tomatoes depending on the weight of the truss and the packing system need to learn to recognize and estimate the truss that can be packed. In some cases, also the removal of a single tomato from the truss can be accepted in order to reach the target weight.
  • Packing of the smaller 1st class boxes into the larger cardboard boxes for the delivery. Each cardboard box contains six of the smaller 1st class boxes and each of the smaller boxes need to be packed their front side up so that tomatoes can be seen the window of the box.

Background info:

Ripeness of the tomato is controlled before the packing process, so You do not need to control that. However, the fully ripe tomatoes are very delicate, and they need to be handled with special care. The availability of right grabbing tools for each of the tasks and the disinfection possibility for the grabbing tools needs to be explained in the competition answer. There will be also the possibility to visit on the site for the further understanding of the task. The visiting date is 26th of September at 12 o’clock. We will meet at Raumanjuovantie 3, Pori.


Your proposal:

Submit Your answer before the 21st of October 2019 into the Robocoast address:

The answers need to be in pdf format and possible videos in mp4 format so that they can be opened without any problems. Do not forget to include your contact information.


Please note:

All solution proposals will be handled confidentially. The intellectual property rights of the solution will remain with the solution provider until the prize money is paid, after which time the solution will become public. The winner has the right to refuse the prize, in which case the intellectual property rights will remain with the solution provider. In that case, the solution provider and the company providing the challenge may freely agree on further action. The intellectual property rights of participants are protected by means of a contract between Robocoast and the participants stating that only the prize-winning basic concept will be published.

Note also, that this will be a new solution for all greenhouses globally, and we hope that you could also indicate your willingness to participate into this new business of greenhouse technology with the challenge provider.

The challenge will be organised as part of the “Robocoast R&D Center – Robotics Living Lab for companies” project funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Council of Satakunta.