Robots for table grapes and beyond

Robots for table grapes and beyond

Tim Hammerich

It’s time for the Farm of the Future report. I am Tim Hammerich.

Yesterday we introduced Future Acres, a fully self-contained wheelbarrow to help table grape workers transport freshly picked grapes from the vineyard. CEO Suma Reddy said table grapes are a great first market for this type of solution.

Reddy… “It’s a very good market for transportation. So what we do is haul, you know, these crops across a field. And so you need this solution more for specialty crops, which have labor costs three times higher than for row crops. »

But to get a good return on investment for backers, Future Acres will need to expand either the services or the target market for this robot, which they’ve named Carry.

Reddy… “Our first option is really to sit down and say, Can we be a bit more of a year-round solution for table grapes? After harvest, looking at the wood remnants on the vine. Pre -harvesting by looking at the color of the grapes using computer vision technologies.

Reddy said table grape buyers and other interested parties could also provide a market for the data these units can generate. And they can always turn to other specialized crops.

Reddy… “This is not a problem that only exists with table grapes. It exists for small fruits, be it blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, your stone fruits, your apples, various types of industries. So, yes, the hardware would have to be changed, but once you develop that software, it’s much more repeatable from space to space.

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