FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2014, file photo, a worker picks apples at Flat Top Ranch in Walla Walla County, Wash. Harvesting the vast fruit orchards of Eastern Washington each year requires thousands of farmworkers, many of them working illegally in the United States. That system could eventually come to an end as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit picking machines to market. (Bob Brawdy/The Tri-City Herald via AP, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 3, 2014, file photo, a worker picks apples at Flat Top Ranch in Walla Walla County, Wash. Harvesting the vast fruit orchards of Eastern Washington each year requires thousands of farmworkers, many of them working illegally in the United States. That system could eventually come to an end as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit picking machines to market. (Bob Brawdy/The Tri-City Herald via AP, File)
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Harvesting Washington state’s vast fruit orchards each year 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.
The robotic pickers don’t …
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