2022 SPECIALTY CROP AUTOMATION REPORT
>> Spotlight Interview
Growth path? Tortuga will seek to expand within the current customers they have and will be seeking ad- ditional funding in order to manufacture more robots in order to increasingly service their customers.
Offering? Tortuga AgTech offers harvesting robots for tabletop strawberries and grapes (glasshouse or outdoor tunnel), and they serve customers in both California and the UK. Tortuga has deployed 150 robots in the field as of 2023, approximately 130 strawberry harvesting robots and 20 grape harvesting robots, all under commercial contract. Business model? Tortuga currently offers its harvesting robots through a robots-as-a-service model, typically charging the average rate of an average human harvester, on a per-pound-picked basis, thereby realizing cost savings for growers. Impact? Tortuga’s top picking speed is 800 picks per hour for their strawberry harvesting robot, close to average human picking speeds. Their newest strawberry harvesting robot can oper- ate for 2 shifts in a row (16-20 hours of battery). Furthermore, their strawberry harvest robots picks at a higher quality (make fewer mistakes and bruise less) than the average human picker. Tortuga has also started rolling out a UV-C pest treatment service.
Website? https://www.tortugaagtech.com/ Contact details? email@example.com
Picture of Tortuga’s strawberry harvesting robots
Figure 50: Tortuga AgTech – Interview spotlight
Advanced.Farm has developed autonomous harvesting solutions for strawberries and apples using suction cup technology (see Figure 51). It developed its apple harvesting technology in just one season by adapting its strawberry system, a process that would have
typically taken three to four growing seasons. The company plans to continue adapting its technologies to harvest stone fruit. As a result of its successes, Advanced.Farm has gained notable market traction, with 16 robots in service across more than five customers.
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