Automation that Pays for Itself
If automation is going to make its way onto the farm, it’s going to have to show an immediate up front return on investment. That’s why Charlie Andersen and his team at Burro have targeted a niche with very high labor costs with their autonomous rover.
Andersen… “Our vehicles today are used largely to haul fruit around and haul produce around in hand harvested crops, so think things like table grapes, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, nursery crops, those types of things. And in a lot of those crops, north of 50% of revenue flows to labor. And that number is rising.”
Andersen says the economics of the Burro can stand on its own for the labor savings, but it can also be used for many other autonomous functions down the road.
Andersen… “You can make an investment with a very rapid ROI into a material handling robot that is built in such a way that over time it will modularly be expanded to do harvesting and yield mapping and some of the other autonomous tasks as well. We have very strong partnerships with Western Growers Association and then the California Table Grape Commission. And this year we actually just shipped 70 last week, so we should have a 90 or so running in the next week or two as the table grape harvest begins.”
Learn more about Burro at burro.ai.