Reducing Labor but Maintaining Quality
Strawberries are one of the most delicate and physically demanding crops to harvest. President and Co-Founder of advanced.farm Kyle Cobb says their robotic harvester can drastically reduce the need for human labor while ensuring the fruit’s quality is not compromised.
Cobb… “After we demonstrated that we could pick tens of thousands of berries without damaging them, then the question really became can we do it economically, can we do it in a way that can scale. And so we took on some audacious tasks of building our own first gripper and then vision system and then robot and then tractor.”
Cobb says their field trials have proven that the robots perform consistently and efficiently while providing better working conditions.
Cobb… “What we’ve really done is built a platform for the future of ag robotics in the field that is really highly performant; it’s also cost-effective and that’s helped us tackle these different challenges along the way of, can we pick a berry gently enough, can we do it quickly enough, can we integrate it into a field full of humans, and I think the answer after a lot of hard work is now yes, and now we’re at the point that we can scale our operations and give growers a tool that they can use every day.”
Models have already been deployed in high-producing strawberry regions and continue to gain traction throughout California.