Spraying and pollinating date palm trees is currently done manually by a team of three workers from a platform lifted 18 meters or more above the ground. This method is extremely unsafe and many accidents have happened due to lack of stability when the platform is in a lifted position. Alternatively, date clusters are occasionally sprayed by a large pressurized sprayer directly from the ground, a method that is highly unselective and environmentally harmful. In this paper we present the concept of an automatic apparatus that can effectively and accurately spray and pollinate date clusters from a robotic apparatus mounted to a standard tractor operated by a single driver. The apparatus consists of a robotic arm and computer controlled sprayer, guided by a computer vision system that detects and localizes date clusters with a camera. This system will minimize risk of injury, significantly save manpower (from three to one person per team), and deliver the spray with maximum accuracy thereby reducing chemical disposure. A small scaled prototype has been built and is currently under preliminary experiments.

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