100% Ontario wines from Vidal and Marquette: Quality improvements to Increase Domestic Market Share

Research that supports Ontario’s wine industry has an opportunity to improve the quality of a white hybrid grape, Vidal, and to investigate the potential for a red hybrid grape, Marquette, which is seeing increased interest from growers and wineries. This project is a scientific evaluation of varying factors that could improve the expression of Vidal character in table wine and improve its market acceptability by assessing consumer preference.

Greening the Canadian Landscape

Urbanization is rapidly increasing in Canada and these areas are confronting major challenges associated with climatic change. Canadian cities must navigate these challenges and may also significantly contribute to mitigation efforts. However, municipalities and developers lack the state-of-the-art information, policies, and resources necessary to be successful in this endeavour.

Mechanically compliant soft robotic grippers for automated harvesting

Automated harvesting of horticultural produce is an opportunity for Canadian farmers to improve the quality of yield, reduce labour costs, and increase revenues. The research project will focus on the design and development of soft pneumatically-driven robotic grippers that conform to the natural shape of delicate produce, such as mushrooms, in an effort to minimize crop damage during harvesting. The operating principle of the proposed grasping mechanism is based on the concept of a pneumatic artificial muscle.

3-D imaging of plants and vegetables

The agriculture industry is a labour intensive industry. Using a reliable method of plant monitoring can greatly help farmers to reduce their labours and consequently their production costs. Creating an accurate 3-D model of each plant or vegetable provides farmers with more information about the growth stage of the plant which helps them to make smarter decisions for irrigation and harvesting. There are various 3-D technologies available in the market.

Mushroom Harvesting System

Automatic harvesting of mushroom produce is a promising opportunity for mushroom growers to increase their revenues. This increased revenue will be obtained through savings in human labour as well as the expected increase in yield and quality due to the consistency of automated solutions compared to manual ones. Automated harvesting solutions do already exist for many other crops such as apple, lime and tomatoes. However, the development of an automated harvesting solution for mushroom is much more challenging in which a commercial system still does not exist.

High Speed Determination of Tulip Bulb Pose Using Computer Vision

The cost of labour makes up almost a third of the operating costs for greenhouse, nursery and floriculture operations. Many growers are seeking ways of automating labour intensive processes to reduce their exposure to increasing minimum wages and shortages of available labour. Planting flower bulbs is an example of one such process.

Control of fruit ripening in stone fruits – a molecular perspective

Fruits such as peaches and plums are highly perishable fruits with a very short shelf life and hence are aptly called ‘tender fruits’. This necessitates the growing of several varieties that ripen at different time slots to ensure that there is a continual supply of these fruits in the market during the short season of availability. It is interesting to note that, though all these diverse varieties flower at about the same time in spring, fruit ripening is extended by a few weeks in some varieties over the other.