Naturipe Berry Growers Signs on as Latest Harvest Croo Robotics Investor
TAMPA, FL - Harvest CROO Robotics’ continues to grow, with Naturipe Berry Growers now joining as an industry investor.
“The lack of availability of labor to harvest strawberries is one of the great challenges facing our industry,” Rich Amirsehhi, President and CEO of Naturipe Berry Growers, said, according to a recent release. “Harvest CROO Robotics’ technology to harvest berries has tremendous promise to solve this critical problem.”
As we have reported previously, Harvest CROO presents a first-of-its-kind option in strawberry-picking technology, picking on traditional strawberry beds with no change necessary on the grower’s part by way of its autonomous and continuous picking wheel, “the Pitzer Wheel.”
Now Naturipe, one of the largest strawberry growers in North America, has joined on to make for more than 20% of the U.S. strawberry industry investing in the program.
“Naturipe Berry Growers sees joining this collaborative effort as an important step in ensuring the sustainability of the U.S. strawberry industry and putting our growers in a position to be early adopters of the technology,” said Amirsehhi.
And according to the Harvest CROO team, there is more innovation on the horizon as the company continues to develop and test the latest technology for agricultural robotics.
“The technology is prepared to make a major leap this coming season,” Bob Pitzer, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Harvest CROO, said. “We were at commercial speed, last March, at a rate of 8 seconds to pick a plant. Now, by using embedded processors and a streamlined picking head design, we expect to easily cut that time in half.”
Watch this technology in action below:
With plans to test its latest prototype during the Florida strawberry season, kicking off in November, improvements include harvest speed and development of an autonomous mobile platform. Berries will be transferred overhead to the platform level once picked, ready for inspection and packing into consumer units by delta robots, according to the company.
The packing robots, a development slated for next year, is the next key milestone Harvest Croo lists on its moves for technological advancements.
Harvest CROO is currently fundraising for its next round of prototypes, to learn more about joining the growing list of investors, contact [email protected].