Sep 20, 2016Naturipe invests in Harvest CROO Robotics
Naturipe Berry Growers has joined the list of strawberry industry investors supporting Harvest CROO Robotics. With the support of Naturipe, now more than 20 percent of the U.S. strawberry industry has invested in Harvest CROO Robotics, according to the company.
“The lack of availability of labor to harvest strawberries is one of the great challenges facing our industry,” said Rich Amirsehhi, president and CEO of Naturipe Berry Growers. “Harvest CROO Robotics’ technology to harvest berries has tremendous promise to solve this critical problem.”
Harvest CROO Robotics continues to develop and test the technology for agricultural robotics. The company will test their latest prototype during the Florida strawberry season, which begins in November. Improvements include harvest speed and the development of an autonomous mobile platform that will carry the robotic pickers through the field, according to Naturipe. After berries are picked, they will be transferred overhead to the platform level, where they will be inspected and packed into consumer units by delta robots. The development of the packing robots, next year, will mark another key milestone in Harvest CROO Robotics’ technological advances, according to the company.
“The technology is prepared to make a major leap this coming season,” said Bob Pitzer, co-founder and chief technology officer of Harvest CROO. “We were at commercial speed, last March, at a rate of 8 seconds to pick a plant. Now by using embedded processors and a streamlined picking head design, we expect to easily cut that time in half.”
Harvest CROO is currently fundraising in preparation for the next round of prototypes. To learn more about Harvest CROO, including investment opportunities, contact [email protected].