Harvest Automation, a Massachusetts-based start-up, has begun shipping their robots. After five years and an A, B and C round of equity funding, plus some debt, totalling almost $25 million, their HV-100 mobile robots are finally coming to market.
One Florida nursery said: Robot operating cost alone was quite competitive, but when we considered all the added benefits of lower insurance costs, improved worker health and safety, lower employee turnover and increased plant quality, it was a clear win for us. We couldn't be happier with the results.
The HV-100 plant moving robots perform a wide variety of plant handling tasks such as spacing, consolidation, and collection. The robots require minimal training to operate and are flexible to deploy in a wide range of bed and plant configurations on all common ground surfaces.
A recent partnership with SBI Software and their SBI Grower product, an enterprise production software system for the nursery and greenhouse industry, enables a cloud-based data collection system which lets the robots line the work that is being performed and reports this information back to growers and production planners to provide a comprehensive view of the work robots have completed and are in the process of doing.
UPDATE 1/21/2014: An even more recent partnership with Practical Software Solutions, a provider of ERP and back office accounting software, will enable Harvest Automation to connect robot data with the Sage ERP package from Practical to develop integrated production and optimization tools for the user. The new partnership was announced today.