Greenhouses today face two critical problems, both of which contribute to economic damage: (1) increasing labor shortages and (2) a lack of skilled labor. With labor costs accounting for up to 50% of total greenhouse production costs, growers are looking to technology to solve the labor crunch. Greenhouse equipment companies are keen to make technological developments fit their product offerings.
MetoMotion has developed a multipurpose robotic system, GRoW, for labor-intensive tasks in greenhouses 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 harvesting 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.
The company’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, MetoMotion 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.”
Comment from Netherlands: “We are very pleased to take part in MetoMotion’s development as we believe that MetoMotion has the ability to bring the first autonomous tomato picking robot to the market. This development will radically change current greenhouse practices and will provide many benefits for growers to grow their businesses further.” – Yahoo Finance