Ripe Robotics is developing fruit picking robots that directly compete with human labour. Right now we're working on automating apple picking. How does it work?
We arrive on your farm with our robots at the start of the harvest. Our technician sets up and calibrates the robots for your orchard, then remains nearby to monitor and maintain them during the harvest. We are currently organising trials and a demo tour to show off the technology ahead of commercial picking in 2021. Contact us to organise a demonstration on your farm at email@example.com
We use modern deep learning to find the apples, detect if they are ripe and correctly sized, and determine if they are able to be picked. If the robot is ever unsure, it simply alerts the local technician who instructs the robot what to do. These instructions are used to improve the software in the future, so the machine actually gets better over time. Currently, the machine can find and pick about 90% of apples on the tree.
The robot itself is about 4m tall, and about 1m wide. It’s designed with adjustable arm length, so can work in rows of 2-5m, with tree diameters of up to 3m, though thinner trees work best. It uses electric motors to move its suction piece to the apple, then gently sucks the apple off the tree with a vacuum. Each machine can replace one human picker, and multiple machines can be chained together.
Buzz is our prototype robot. Thrown together with off-the-shelf parts, it’s a proof of concept we’re using to test the design, prove the software, and rapidly iterate improvements.
Buzz is completed now! We’re taking what we’ve learnt and putting it into a similar, commercial model, which is much sturdier, faster, and designed to work outside.
We are currently taking Expressions of Interest for our field trials in 2020. We have been in discussions with a number of farmers who are intereted in trialing the technology in order to see the benefits of robotic harvesting on their farms.
If you are interested in learning more please fill out the form below and enter your details or contact Hunter or Leo at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re currently raising a pre-seed round to complete the commercial model, and cover the costs of trials next year. We expect some of the trials to lead to paid preorders in 2020, and are hoping to build around 30 machines for the 2021 harvest using funding from the pre-orders and from a potential seed round next year. Contact Hunter Jay or Leopold Lucas at email@example.com