Plus Group

The Plus Group of Companies offers a range of uniquely integrated horticultural solutions both domestically and internationally. Its core passion is the long-term sustainability of horticulture delivered to our valued clients through service excellence, experience and innovation.

visit the website


GroPlus provides a world class kiwifruit orchard management service that maximises grower returns and delivers to our customers’ service excellence, product superiority and innovation.

visit the website

Pollen Plus

Pollen Plus is one of the world's largest suppliers of high quality Male Kiwifruit Pollen and artificial pollination services and solutions. Our products are available internationally and New Zealand wide.

visit the website


BioSoil & Crop specialises in sampling and analysing soil and tissues of perennial crop plants and making nutrient recommendations based on these results.

visit the website


RPL’s extensive capability goes beyond hardware
and software to deliver next generation
products and processes.

Cooperative operation and integration between multiple hardware and software segments is one of our key abilities and is often critical to high level operation. RPL develops and commercialises comprehensive systems that are tailored to industry requirements through extensive client and relevant industry consultation. From technology validation, computer 3D design, prototyping, development, integration, commercialisation, right through to commercial production, RPL has extensive capability to cover most technological requirements.


RPL utilise a range of industrial sensors to achieve system awareness. These sensors range from higher level sensors like cameras for machine vision to devices that provide direct output of an event occurring. If necessary, several sensors can be calibrated to work together (sensor fusion) to improve awareness and robust detection.

Machine Vision

Developing image processing algorithms for machine vision is one of our specialties. Machine Vision provides systems with a high level of awareness and accuracy, especially when dealing with a diverse range of objects, environments, or organic items like fruit. Our capabilities go beyond processing two-dimensional images. It includes depth analysis of surfaces and shapes using stereo-vision, Time-of-Flight camera and sensor fusion with other sensors, like LiDAR. Sensor fusion is achieved by combining the data of several sensors. This allows the strengths of each sensor to be utilised, or to provide more information for better automated decision making. RPL uses machine vision for tasks like:

  1. Component Inspection
  2. Object detection/classification
  3. Image Processing
  4. Scene / image analysis
  5. Stereo vision and Depth camera vision for distance, position, pose, surface and/or volumetric analysis

Figure 1: Analysis output for machine vision
detection of kiwifruit for automated harvesting

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)

LiDAR is an accurate, fast and reliable form of object detection in even dusty and wet outdoor environments. There are several LiDAR configurations ranging from single point distance, single plane, multi-plane and full three-dimensional sensors. RPL currently uses LiDAR for:

  1. Dynamic object detection and classification
  2. 2D and 3D scanning
  3. Navigation
  4. Object measurement and positioning
  5. Object tracking and intrusion

Figure 2: SICK two dimensional LiDAR unit used for scanning operations


Sensor mapping

Sensor mapping or data fusion allows multiple sensors or devices to have a common coordinate geometry. The mapping process translates coordinates of one sensor or system into that common coordinate geometry. This allows coordination between:

  1. Multiple sensors to increase awareness. The fusion or overlaying of the output from multiple sensors enables better automated decision making and awareness.
  2. Often called hand-eye-coordination, mapping of sensors with arms allows for precision interaction of sensed objects. In this instance the sensors are the eyes enabling hands to be guided to perform a task at previously unknown locations.

Figure 3: LIDAR data points mapped into a machine vision image. The green and pink circles are the LIDAR data points detected from the scanner, that have then been automatically mapped to their corresponding image location. This uses the reliable detection of LIDAR and then allows the machine vision system to classify what the objects are. The green line is the path the navigation algorithms have determined that the robot needs to follow, from the LIDAR data.

Other Industrial Sensors

There is an extensive range of industrial sensors that RPL utilise to achieve robust automation. Some of these include:

  1. Encoders, linear and rotational, to accurately determine a components position or allow its speed and acceleration to be calculated.
  2. Proximity sensors can detect the presence of certain object/materials within a set range
  3. Laser sensors can detect an object passing through a beam or some sensors can measure distance or particles, like dust, floating in the air.
  4. Transducers measure a variations in physical quantity, such as pressure, temperature or brightness and turn them into electrical signals.
  5. Ultrasonic sensors can be used for object detection and ranging, as well as some materials properties analysis.