Burro, formerly known as Augean Robotics, an autonomy company providing solutions for the agriculture industry, has raised a $ 10.9 million Series A funding. The company will use to funding expand to 500+ robots next year to meet demand from both existing and new customers.
Burro claims it offers the only plug-and-play autonomous people-scale robot that increases productivity in conventional production environments. The so-called Burros feature Pop Up Autonomy, which means they work immediately out of the box by enabling everyone in a working environment to become an operator.
Burro’s robots do not require a centralized control or installation of infrastructure. Instead, the robots use computer vision and AI to learn on the fly and to navigate autonomously from A to B while carrying various payloads.
“Many autonomy companies beginning in agriculture have focused first on autonomous tractors, autonomous weeding, and harvesting, where they try to comprehensively automate incredibly hard technical tasks, and often struggle to scale into a large market – we’ve started instead with collaborative people-scale robots that help people by moving heavy things around,” said Charlie Andersen, CEO of Burro.
“The beauty of this approach is that we can scale today around a ubiquitous pain point in the most labor-intensive areas of agriculture, while also allowing our platform to capture data and learn about many environments – providing the foundation for us to scale to countless other applications.”
Burro says it currently has 90 robots in table grape fields covering 100-300 miles a day autonomously, six days a week, while farm workers can stand in the shade and pick/pack with a continuous flow of fruit out of the field. Burro claims one robot enables six-plus people to harvest up to 48 percent more fruit per day for a less than two month ROI.
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Right now, the company is scaling in the table grapes market and is looking to expand into berries and nursery crops. Burro says its robots are modular and built to scale. “Today’s product is the first step in a fully autonomous farm stack: robots that can navigate anywhere, perceive everything, and use dexterity to do increasingly complex work outdoors.”
The $ 10.9 million investment round was led by S2G Ventures and Toyota Ventures, with F-Prime Capital and the Cibus Enterprise Fund joining, along with existing investors including Radicle Growth and ffVC.