In a world-first, Costa is working with Israeli company Arugga AI Farming to deploy robotic pollination for truss tomato plants at its tomato glasshouse operation in Guyra, New South Wales. Pollination in glasshouses around the world is generally done using bumblebees. The use of these insects is, however, banned in Australia. That means the pollination process is done by hand.
In the commercial deployment of the machines, robotic pollinators drive along the rows, find flowers that are ready for pollination using artificial intelligence and send air pulses to vibrate the flowers in a specific manner which imitates buzz pollination as performed by bumblebees.