When we thing of robots, we all have a vision of a humanoid robot, someone like the fictional character named “Data” on Star Trek. However, these days, most robots are industrial robots used to do everything from painting cars to picking items in an Amazon Warehouse. MetroMotion has developed a unique robot designed to work in the challenging environment of an agricultural green house. Today, MetroMotion announced it has completed a $1.5 million investment round, headed by a leading Netherlands-based company in the greenhouse industry.
MetroMotion has developed a multipurpose robotic system, GRoW, for labor-intensive tasks in greenhouses, created to reduce the reliance on and high costs of human labor in greenhouse vegetable production. The company’s first application for its GRoW system is for the harvest of greenhouse tomatoes.
GRoW incorporates state-of-the-art robotics and automation technology including advanced 3D vision system and machine vision algorithms to identify and locate the ripe fruit, multiple, custom-designed, robotic arms, an end-effector for damage-free harvesting, and an onboard boxing system. The autonomous vehicle is designed for seamless integration with existing greenhouse infrastructure.
MetroMotion’s capabilities include adapting its robotic technology to other labor-intensive greenhouse tasks, such as: pruning, pollination, de-leafing and data collection for cultivation analysis.
Commenting on the investment, MetroMotion CEO Adi Nir said, “We are very excited to have a strategic investor aboard. Our Netherlands-based investor’s combined resources and rich knowledge of the greenhouse industry will provide us with an outstanding opportunity to develop our system with the right fit for the market.” With this funding, Nir added, “We can bring our first product to the market and offer farmers a valuable solution to one of the most urgent issues they face in vegetable production today.”