Sun World is currently testing Future Acres’ harvesting robot Carry and plans to begin a official pilot program during the harvest season this year.
Sun World International, a global plant variety breeder and genetics licensor, and Future Acres, a startup bringing agricultural robotics to the farm industry, announced a collaboration agreement. This begins with an initial testing and pilot program at Sun World’s International Center for Innovation and will include collaborative commercialization of Future Acres with Sun World’s 2,000 growers farming on 55,000 acres around the world, who could socialize the equipment and technology.
Future Acres launched its robotic harvesting assistant Carry earlier this year. Through advanced artificial intelligence (AI), automation and electric power, the electric agricultural robotic harvest companion Carry is to streamline the harvesting process with the ability to transport up to 500 pounds of crops on all terrain and in all inclement weather conditions.
According to Future Acres, this increases production efficiency by up to 30%, which would mean that Carry would pay for itself in only 80 days. Its machine learning and computer vision capabilities also allow the machine to avoid obstacles like trees and people and collect and apply data to further enhance its precision.
Using computer-vision-powered autonomy or through remote control operation, Carry autonomously and safely follows farmworkers for a whole day’s work – the machine comes equipped with a 7–10-hour swappable battery range or 6-10 miles traversed terrain navigation.
“We’re interested in anything that improves the productivity and profitability of our licensed growers and think Carry could be a game-changing technology to not only streamline the harvesting process but exponentially improve the day-to-day lives of field workers”, said Jeffrey Jackson, EVP of Sun World International.
“By getting Carry into the hands of those who know the stressors of field work and what the job demands, we will be able to improve upon the technology and tailor its offerings to meet those very specific needs. Carry is the future of harvesting, and we believe our alignment with Sun World will make an even greater impact on the lives of those in the field, all while reducing costs and helping farmers to stay profitable. We project that this collaboration represents an over $ 100 million opportunity for Future Acres,” said Suma Reddy, CEO of Future Acres.