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Lyro Robotics, an Australian company that creates a robotic system that scans and packs produce, raised $1.5 million in a pre-Series A round of funding, according to reporting from InnovationAus.
With the latest round of funding, the company plans to deliver around 20 autonomous robotic packers to agriculture clients. Its robotic packing solution aims to save produce by packing it more quickly than manual packers and help alleviate labor shortages.
Lyro Robotics designs and builds the entire technology stack for its robotic packers. The system starts with a conveyor belt that feeds items into Lyro’s box-shaped machine. Cameras inside the box scan the produce to determine what the item is.
The robot then decides how to grip the produce, and which grippers to use to pick and pack the produce. The robot can be retrofitted into existing packing lines, and is available as a Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS), in which customers pay based on how much produce is packed.
According to the company, its robot can successfully handle citrus fruits, chilis, rockmelons, avocados, nectarines, punnets of packed fruits like cherry tomatoes and berries, sweet potatoes and capsicum. The robot is quick to deploy, and because of its RaaS model, requires little capital cost up front for customers.
Artesian/Boab AI, AgFunder and Toyo Kanetsu, an existing investor in Lyro Robotics, participated in the funding round. In April, Lyro Robotics received a $100,000 grant as part of the Australian government’s Ignite Ideas program.
While the robot is being aimed at the agriculture industry, it’s also able to do similar work for manufacturing and recycling clients.
The company was founded in 2019 by Juxi Leiner, Nicole Robinson and Norton Kelly-Boxall. The team won an Amazon Robotics Challenge in 2017 for a robot that could identify and pick up warehouse items.