Komatsu 930E top speed.

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Another interesting development pioneered in France is the robotic approach to harvesting tree fruit like apples and oranges where the mature fruit is selected by machine vision using light reflectance, picked mechanically by the robot and conveyed pneumatically (under vacuum) to a storage pallet. Whether these exciting but expensive technologies can be successfully commercialized remains to be seen. Gantry mechanization (including harvesting) of fruits and vegetables in greenhouses has also been investigated but cost remains a difficult factor to overcome.

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The mechanization of farming in developing countries has been very uneven. In certain parts of Africa, in Java, and in many hilly regions, farmers still till their fields with hand tools even though animal tillage has been common in other parts of the world for thousands of years. While draft animals have completely disappeared in North America, Europe, and Japan, they have been widely accepted in Senegal only in the past few decades.

Camiones Komatsu 930E y Caterpillar 793C operando a 4500 msnm. El camión Komatsu tiene un peso bruto de 500 T y se desplaza a 25 Km/h.

A machine that can cut mature corn without shattering the ripe kernels at the top of its long slender stem, gather together and convey these stem heads-first into a threshing cylinder, where the bulk of the kernels are separated from the non-grain material by a combination of impact and sieving, and where the remaining separation is achieved by a combination of further sieving, flotation and vibration.

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Typically, harvesting represents the final stage of crop production at field level and essentially brings the farming season to a close. In many cases, harvesting is the most labor intensive farm operation and not infrequently associated with the drudgery of rural life. The development of machines that could successfully harvest most if not all agricultural crops has been greeted with enthusiasm. And yet challenges remain.

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