A decision support system for automated mushroom harvesting
In: Arai K., Kapoor S., Bhatia R. (eds) Intelligent Systems and Applications. IntelliSys 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 869. Springer, Cham. pp. 1178-1184
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Abstract: Kashkoush, M. and G. Avigad. Mushrooms intended for the fresh market are solely harvested by hand. Accordingly, the mushroom industry depends heavily on human labor. It is estimated that 50% of a mushroom farm’s operational cost are associated with labor cost and that is mainly around harvesting. Harvesting mushrooms is arduous work, resulting in an exceptionally high employee turnover rate (up to 50% employee turnover rate is estimated for Canada). Recent increases in hourly wages, combined with tighter control on working hours and conditions, have further intensified the labor problem. One way to overcome the cost of labor, availability and quality/consistency of harvesting decisions is automation. The decision making component is, in fact, the bottle neck towards having an automated mushroom harvesting system. A Decision Support System (DSS) for mushroom harvesting has been recently developed and tested at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, and is currently undergoing further tuning and enhancements.