Automated cannabis trimming robots are shaping the future of the industry

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Trimming machines will help reduce the strain on the back and wrists

Trimming cannabis is hard work – some might even call it art. It is difficult on the back, wrists and hands due to the long hours of repetitive motion, which is why some talented trimmers make around $20 an hour in the craft. However, machine trimmers are starting to be introduced that could revolutionize the practice. Once a clumsy machine that chopped more than pruned, the trimmer industry is evolving and bringing with it a whole new market.

One trimmer that could see mainstream acceptance in the near future is one being introduced by Massachusetts-based Bloom. The company has put a lot of effort into creating a talented trimmer – calling on experts in areas such as military robotics and automation – and the result is a machine that is reportedly 97% precise in its job. ZD Net says of the device, “The robotic harvester uses machine vision and path planning algorithms to isolate clusters of flowers. The system incorporates a back-lit time of flight camera, which measures depth, as well as a machine vision camera. [CEO Jon Gowa says], ‘We use a conventional neural network and a supervised machine learning set.'”

The Verge explained, “The company had employees hand-color over 6,000 images of marijuana—leaves one color, the flowers another—so they could feed the photos to teach the algorithm which one is which. Eventually, the robot will be able to trim three times faster than someone doing the job by hand. At least, that’s the hope.”

There are already a number of other trimmers that have been introduced, such as the Trimpro Rotor Leaf Trimmer and the CO-Z Professional Automatic Bud Trimmer, among others. Prices range from the low three-digit range to several thousand dollars and the industry is already gaining a lot of steam.

The marijuana industry is growing. With it comes the need to carefully cultivate product. With estimates of the U.S. marijuana market hitting as much as $75 billion within about ten years, businesses are going to look for ways to maximize profits. Automated trimmers are poised to capture a significant portion of the market if they can function appropriately.