Palm oil industry eyes robots, drones to combat labour crunch

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Malaysiakini (English)

Malaysian research student Haziq Ramli wore an outfit resembling a light jetpack, with poles strapped to his biceps, to wield a long pole that clipped the sharp fronds and heavy bunches of fruit from oil palm trees nearly twice his height. Working on a 1.2-hectare family estate, he was part of a team trying to perfect the gadget, called a wearable exoskeleton, that promises to reduce the need for labourers to manipulate the poles, which can weigh as much as 8kg. “My arms are supported when I’m holding the pole, I feel less strain and fatigue,” said Haziq, who wore sneakers and spectacles. Plan…

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