Published in Good Fruit Grower
By Ross Courtney

August 4, 2020

As Will Beightol slowly drove through a vineyard in early June, a box the size of a microwave mounted to his ATV snapped thousands of pictures.

Known as the Flash, the box is a crop estimation sensor developed by Carnegie Mellon University engineers. Startup Bloomfield Robotics spun o” from their research to commercialize a piece of technology the wine industry anxiously awaits.

Twice a week, Beightol creeps through six blocks at vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills American Viticultural Area south of Prosser, Washington, as the Flash takes pictures of the fruiting zone, illuminating each frame with powerful strobes. The idea is to make crop estimations, a critical component of wine quality and grower contracts, more efficient, accurate and objective, said Beightol, owner of Collab Wine Co., a wine industry consulting and management firm.

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Technology //