At least 10% of fruit rots on trees because there aren’t enough people to pick it. For farmers who work year-round on their fields, harvest season often requires not only the need to pick fruit quickly for minimal waste, but also to hire workers, provide housing and insurance, healthcare, and transportation, making for an extra stressful season.
As industry costs rise and the need for food production soars, a fruit-picking robot is flying into the fields to help. Tevel Aerobotics Technologies has created a small aircraft, dubbed FAR, or flying autonomous robots, that gently picks remaining ripe fruit from the trees. The device aims to complement the work of fruit pickers, not replace them. The technology uses artificial intelligence, video, and real-time analytics to deliver information to the farmer through an application. The advantage of a robot is that it can work longer hours and all hours, and provide accurate metrics for the amount of produce picked. The Tevel technology aims to fill a gap for farmers. As younger generations seek more stabile work, and the COVID-19 crisis limits hiring seasonal workers, their robot can do the work.
The company is currently in trial mode, yet is in a promising phase. The agricultural robotics industry is expected to increase by about 30% each year moving forward. Invested in by OurCrowd, Tevel is working with Israeli farmers to provide them more ease, accuracy, and hands when needed most.