Navigation : EXPO21XX > ROBOTICS 21XX > H16: Service Robots > Harvest Automation
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  • Offer Profile
  • Harvest Automation has released the first practical, scalable robots for a range of Agricultural applications. Addressing labor scarcity issues, Harvest enables growers to create a sustainable workforce of robots working safely alongside people to increase efficiency, reliability and plant quality.

    Harvest’s robots can perform as much manual labor as required by each grower, creating more capacity for human workers to focus on other tasks. The robots can also increase plant quality by optimizing plant placement in the fields and reduce non-labor production costs including the use of water, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Harvest Automation is headquartered outside of Boston, Mass.
Product Portfolio
  • Tough, Smart Simple Robots

      • Harvest Automation's flagship

      • Harvest Automation's flagship product is designed to perform material handling tasks in unstructured, outdoor environments such as those typically found in commercial growing operations. The robots work safely alongside humans and require minimal training to operate, while vastly reducing production costs and improving productivity. They will reduce direct labor headcount and costs while enabling efficiency initiatives such as resource management, just in time production, and inventory control. The principal features and functions offered in the first product release include:

        • effective in greenhouse, hoop house and nursery environments
        • high placement accuracy
        • handles most common container sizes
        • quick swap rechargeable battery
        • minimal training and setup
        • no programming required
        • all weather 24 hour operation
        • spacing
        • re-spacing
        • collection
        • consolidation

    • Harvest has developed a new approach to automating a variety of traditionally manual labor tasks based on mobile robot technology. Teams of small, highly intelligent machines work safely with laborers to perform the most physically demanding parts of these tasks, and at a significantly reduced cost.

      Behavior-based Robotics
      Our intelligent, behavior-based approach to automation provides a scalable and robust system architecture for robots that enables them to operate in even the most challenging environments. Harvest's highly adaptable, behavior-based platform responds immediately to changes in the work environment, intelligently accounts for imperfect sensory data, and requires little setup and no programming.

      Proprietary Sensor Technology
      Harvest's robots incorporate simple, highly reliable local sensing technologies that do not depend on a global model of their environment. This translates into:
      • operation not constrained by GPS coverage
      • wide variety of terrain operation
      • ability to adapt to local conditions
      System Design & Architecture
      Careful engineering and attention to our customers needs in the development stage has produced a versatile, rugged solution designed to work hard in real world environments. Our approach has produced the optimal result for our customers by providing equipment that is:
      • flexible and scalable
      • fault tolerant
      • inherently safe for operation near people
      • easy and intuitive to set up and operate

    • Harvest Automation has identified the US Nursery & Greenhouse sector of the Agriculture industry as our initial market because of the high number of manual laborers required and their significant issues around labor availability and productivity. The U.S. Nursery and Greenhouse industry produces approximately $17B of ornamental horticulture products per year selling to retailers (e.g. Home Depot, Walmart, independent garden centers) as well as large landscapers, municipalities, and resellers. The production of ornamental plants requires vast amounts of manual labor with labor accounting for over 30% of production costs.

      Harvest conducted in-depth research to clearly identify the breadth of strategic challenges facing the Nursery & Greenhouse industry. These challenges are centered on the industry's ongoing need to reduce production costs and successfully resolve related labor issues associated with container handling. Using Harvest's products will drive significant operational improvements in the following areas:
      Reduces Cost
      Reduces Risk
      50% unit handling cost reduction    
      Improve long-term cost visibility    
      Less susceptible to worker availability  
      Better immigration compliance  
      Improved worker safety/health  
      Less susceptible to labor law changes  
      Less susceptible to healthcare changes  
      More container handling flexibility  
      Efficient water, pesticide, herbicide usage