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Growth Path? Burro’s platform can support any situation in which people are carrying large crop loads. Burro’s platform is also well equipped for collaboration with other autonomous technologies, including crop data technologies, pollination systems and harvest technologies. Burro will seek to continue collaborating with other automation companies, offering their plat- form as a versatile mobility solution. Burro will also seek to expand their business by 2-3x over the next year, and expand to Australia by 2025.

Offering? Burro offers versatile, multi-functional collaborative robots for outdoor, heavy-weight logistical support which are crop-agnostic. Burros can autonomously carry heavy things, tow trailers, and autonomously explore/scout up and down rows. While the most common application is table grapes, their platforms are also used for blueberries, caneberries, nursery crops, and solar operations, and the robots are often used in collaboration with other automation technologies. Business model? Burro offers sales, leasing or financing of their hardware, while structuring their offering for their autonomy software as a recurring fee. They also have a short-term robots as a service offering. Impact? One Burro unit typically supports 6-8 people per day and enables output gains of 20-30% per person. Harvest automation: Developments in this segment in the past year have been less rapid than in other activities. This is largely due to the technological complexity of harvesting and difficulty in scaling the technology across crops. However, some start-ups have been able to gain significant traction. The lower scalability options mean start-ups typically focus on developing automation solutions for one or two crops. This is different to pre-harvesting activities where companies tend to operate across a variety of crops. Brimapack, a Netherlands-based company focused on lettuce harvesting, stands out for its harvesting

Website? Contact details?

Picture of Burro’s use in the grape harvesting process Figure 49: Burro – Interview spotlight

and in-field packaging capabilities. It also boasts a total of more than 30 machines in service and more than 20 paying customers. Tortuga AgTech, whose harvesting robots are compatible with strawberries and grapes, has also gained notable market traction and made significant progress over the past year. It boasts a fleet of 125 robots in service (compared to 51 robots in service in 2021) and five paying customers (see Figure 50). Tortuga’s robots are also capable of operating in multiple farm environments, being compatible with both indoor environments and outdoor hoop farms.

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