This robotic coconut tree climber and harvester could save lives

India is experiencing a shortage of coconut harvesters. It's dangerous work, as harvesters must climb trees that are sometimes 50 ft tall. Once they reach the top of the tree they have to hack away at the stems with a machete, making their grip on the tree more tenuous. To deal with these problems, researchers have designed a robotic coconut tree climber and harvester. It wraps its way up the coconut palm's trunk, then deploys a remote-controlled circular saw to release the coconuts from their stems.