Robotics Plus Responds to Growth in Agricultural Automation

A New Zealand agricultural robotics and automation company, Robotics Plus, has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer. Dr Matt Glenn has been appointed due to the accelerated growth for the company due to high industry demand for its innovative horticulture automation technologies.

Robotics Plus has been able to secure key investment and partnership agreements from Yamaha Motor Co and the Saunders Family Trust in New Zealand earlier this year, in order to support its groundbreaking projects. In May, they signed an agency and distribution agreement with Global Pac Technologies to sell the company’s robotic apple packers globally. This was a joint venture between US firm Van Doren Sales and New Zealand-owned Jenkins Group. The apple packer is a revolutionary product that is able to identify and place apples in trays. This innovation is able to safely handle as many as 120 apples per minute, which is equal to two manual workers. It is already in use in New Zealand and the United States.

This technology by Robotics Plus is the first of a group of products to launch commercially. These technologies aim to address the major challenges in the agricultural sector that stem from labor shortages and the increase in demand for fresh produce. The company is also developing an autonomous agricultural vehicle, a robotic kiwifruit harvester, robotic pollinator and a crop estimator, among other interesting inventions. Collaborative research relationship efforts are also in place between the University of Waikato, the University of Auckland, Massey University and Plant & Food Research. Likewise, government agencies have aided the innovative efforts and commitment of the company, allowing Robotics Plus to focus on recruiting more engineers and researchers.

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