A robot that picks apples? Washington state’s orchards could see a ‘game-changer’

Harvesting Washington’s vast fruit orchards requires thousands of farmworkers, and many of them work illegally in the United States. That system eventually could change dramatically as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit-picking machines to market. SPOKANE — Harvesting Washington state’s vast fruit orchards each year requires thousands of farmworkers, and many …