CESFAS Seed Grant Award 2020-2021

Investigating Robotic Technology for Sustainable Chile Production and Harvest in New Mexico

Principle Investigators (PIs)

Research Project Summary
New Mexico-type chile production faces challenges that include increasingly scarce irrigation resources and labor availability. Advanced technologies that have benefited other crops have not been explored for chile; this project seeks to embrace one of these innovations. Robotic technology will be investigated in research objectives including: (1) using sensor-equipped mobile robots to provide real-time data on actual soil and plant status in chile fields to optimize irrigation, (2) investigating water use efficiency (WUE) of chile plants under deficit irrigation, and (3) investigating the use of specialized robotic manipulators for mechanized harvest and pedicel removal of green chile fruit.