Future Acres – a new start-up bringing sustainable agricultural robotics to the farm industry – has launched to raise up to $?3 million in seed capital via equity crowdfunding site SeedInvest. The company is producing an autonomous, electric agricultural robotic harvest companion, named Carry, to help farmers gather hand-picked crops faster and with less physical demand.
Future Acres aims to provide farmers with an accessible and affordable solution that not only optimises the farming industry but “builds new productivity into the food supply chain at the point of harvest to push the industry into a new era of prosperity, ethical sourcing and sustainability”.
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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 the start-up, 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.
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Future Acrees says one Carry operating in the field farms could result in up to $ 13,500 in efficiency gain per season. “And with multiple Carrys operating autonomously to transport crops from the field back to the farm, 5-10 workers can stay focused on quality, careful sourcing, without needing to go back and forth for miles.”
Future Acres says it is also planning on focusing on precision agriculture, measuring pesticide-use and crop health, and tracking yield, quality and food waste, without adding emissions or toxins to the farmlands it navigates through. The machine-learning-backed approach will ultimately serve to improve the final quality of food reaching future consumer tables.
Carry is the future of harvesting and will make an immediate impact on the lives of those in the field each and every day
“The agricultural industry is facing a seemingly never-ending list of challenges on a financial, worker and sustainability level,” said Suma Reddy, CEO of Future Acres. “Our vision with Carry was to develop a tool and system that could help alleviate these stressors and move the industry forward by providing a helpful operational solution capable of supporting workers by reducing the physical toll – back pain, twisted ankles and shoulder inquires no longer need to be the normal. Carry is the future of harvesting and will make an immediate impact on the lives of those in the field each and every day, all while reducing costs and helping farmers to stay profitable.”
Future Acres plans to bring Carry to small- and medium-sized farms throughout the United States.