Robotics startup Iron Ox has launched a mobile support robot that can lift more than 1,000 lb and assist in monitoring, watering and harvesting a wide variety of crops.
The agriculture robot is part of Iron Ox’s farming ecosystem that helps farmers optimize plant yield, reduce growth cycle time and maximize quality of crops.
Grover uses artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and computer vision and can change crops at a moment’s notice to meet demands of grocery stores such as if a spike in demand happens for specific seasonal or even out-of-season produce.
The robot uses a differential drive system, multiple lidar systems and forward- and upward-facing camera systems. It also contains a lift system to autonomously move 1,000 lb, 6 ft x 6 ft modules of hydroponically fed plants throughout the greenhouse. Modules can be scanned for inspection and are taken for additional water, nutrients or harvesting.
Earlier this year, Iron Ox broke ground on a 535,000 square foot indoor farm in Lockhart, Texas, and its produce can be found in Whole Foods Markets and at San Francisco Bay Area markets such as Bianchini’s and Mollie Stone’s. Iron Ox expects to begin selling outside of California later this year.
The company raised $53 million in funding recently and plans to use this funding to expand its intellectual property portfolio in robotics and AI as well as hire new staff.