We partner with Tortuga Agtech and Fieldwork Robotics in experimenting and improving the use of technologies applied to the production of berries.
In our British farms, we have more than 50 robots working on our strawberry fields and glasshouses, but this number can scale up to more than 500 robots, depending on results obtained.
The partnership between The Summer Berry Company in UK and Tortuga AgTech dates to 2020 when the first trials with robots started in our farms.
Based on the success of these initial trials, the partnership has been progressively reinforced with the increasing in the number of robots operating in our business. The robots help us with harvesting but go much beyond that, generating forecast reports and supporting the team of agronomists fighting pests using UV light technology for mildew and mite control. Other R&D services, for agronomic and operational purposes are also being developed.
Our raspberry fields in Portugal have been a privileged training centre for Fieldwork Robotics since 2021, when the first prototype started working on the harvesting and forecasting of raspberries. Since that day a lot of machine learning was developed and, consequently, many improvements have been achieved. Now, robots can easily identify ready to pick raspberries whilst being programmed to ignore fruit that is still not ready for harvesting.
Robots walk across our polytunnels autonomously, collecting information that can help our agronomists with forecasting and with the identification of potential diseased plants. They can also be using for spraying; the kind of job that, when done by humans, may pose health and safety concerns.
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