New Zealand robot to bring data to kiwifruit orcha
11 July 2018 - Media Release - Fresh Plaza
A battery-powered fully-autonomous robot system, which can scan kiwifruit orchards and offer growers a full picture of their crop via accurate data, drew the interest of many in the horticultural industry at Fieldays.
The robot is the brainchild of Nicholas Woon and Matthew Warner. It is the start of their business Acuris Systems, which is in the pre-commercial stage but ultimately is aiming to give growers the power to make decisions from definitive ground-truth data. Accurate data is something that Nicholas says is missing in the kiwifruit orcharding industry.
Nicholas says currently most kiwifruit orchardists take a walk through their orchard, have a look at the crop flowering and guesstimate how much thinning they should undertake to increase their yield.
“Often the information is formed from tiny samples sizes – and from this growers make crucial decisions that can impact the quality of their yield and ultimately affect their season’s results on large areas of their orchards."
“What we do is we provide an industry-first, 100 per cent, full population count for every hectare on a kiwifruit orchard. This gives growers a full picture of their crop and allows them to make data-driven decisions to optimise yield and mitigate risks.”