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.
Because mechanization of harvesting is directly dependent on labor costs, it is rarely profitable in low-wage countries. The higher the control intensity of the operation, the higher must labor costs be to warrant using a machine. Crop husbandry. Weeding and cleaning of crops, fields, and orchards are control-intensive operations. In animal systems, people go on weeding by hand long after the introduction of the plow and cart-until rising wages make herbicides profitable.