Verdant Robotics based in Hayward, California was co-founded by a farmer, Curtis Garner, and Roboticist, Gabe Sibley. The company, Sibely says, keeps their focus on innovations that can directly impact a grower’s return on investment, and unlock new value in the future.
Sibely… “It allows the growers to save on their largest cost centers a lot, like 50% and more from day one. And that's sort of how it gets started with us. You know, we get on the farm and we help with real problems that the growers have. But that's just the beginning because we very quickly start to unlock, well, how do you increase yields with this technology? How do you grow larger produce? And those things are new value that's unlocked because of the technology. And that's where the fun begins, because that's where that digitization step really unlocks new value. So that's it in a nutshell. It's this smart sharp shooter that's towed behind a tractor delivering inputs at a very, very precise level and very, very quickly.”
Sibley says once the robotics hardware is in place it’s easy to iterate and change the software to meet farmers’ needs.
Sibely… “So it's about teaching the software how to behave, and that's great because we don't have to re-engineer the hardware. And so software, obviously you can change very rapidly.”
The robots are currently being used on Apples and specialty crops and testing is being done on broad-acre row crops as well.