Founded in 2016, Israeli startup Tevel Aerobotics Technologies is a developer of autonomous drones equipped with a one-meter long mechanical claw that can pick fruits, or be used for thinning and pruning tasks in orchards. The company currently employs 15 people.
According to founder and CEO Yaniv Maor, Tevel’s functioning working prototype was developed in late 2018. The company is currently working on a patented fleet of drones that will be commercially available in 2020.
The drones are currently only operational in daylight, but the company is working to give the drone night-vision capabilities to increase productivity.
Tevel’s drones are equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities in order to be able to detect fruit type, blemishes, and the fruit’s quality based on its ripeness, Maor explained. While the company’s current version is able to pick only apples and oranges, Tevel is working on expanding its drone’s capabilities to include additional fruits such as avocados and mangoes.