The future of the fruit industry is already happening in Chile, where apples are being picked by flying robots driven by Artificial Intelligence
In a first-ever collaboration, the face of the fruit industry in Chile is being revolutionized as A.I.-driven robots pick apples in Linares. This remarkable endeavor is the result of a partnership between Tevel, an Israeli robotics startup, and Unifrutti, offering a glimpse into the future of the agriculture industry. Tevel’s autonomous harvesting system was deployed in Unifrutti Chile’s apple orchards from March to May, harvesting several varieties of apples and picking the highest-quality fruit with unparalleled efficiency.
German Illanes, General Manager of Unifrutti in Chile, said “We at Unifrutti are thrilled to embrace Tevel’s advanced autonomous harvesting technology. As agritech plays a vital role in the future of Unifrutti and our industry, we see this partnership with Tevel as a significant investment in the future of the fruit industry. Together, we are driving progress and setting new standards for excellence. We are excited to have found in Tevel the right partner to move forward with and make a positive impact in the industry.”
Yaniv Maor, CEO & Founder of Tevel, said, “We are very excited to partner with Unifrutti in bringing the future of agriculture to Chile. This partnership is a testament that Tevel’s technology is the most cutting-edge solution for growers who want to elevate their harvesting to the next level. This marks a major milestone in the industry’s transformation towards adopting robotics and automation.”
Maor added that “This partnership is significant because it brings together two leaders in the agriculture and technology industries to address a critical challenge facing fruit growers worldwide.”
The global agriculture industry has faced significant challenges in the past decade due to labor shortages during harvest time, resulting in lower fruit quality, higher labor costs, and lost revenue from unpicked fruit. Tevel’s autonomous harvesting technology addresses these issues by utilizing advanced Flying Autonomous Robots™ for precise, gentle and efficient fruit picking. Tevel’s robots are powered by A.I, computer vision and machine learning algorithms. The harvesting system features 8 Flying Autonomous Robots™ mounted on a ground harvesting platform developed by Darwin Harvesting Group.
Throughout the harvesting operations in Chile, Tevel made significant strides in the overall system performance and reliability, and selective picking to ensure the harvesting of the highest quality fruit. The fruits picked by the robots, delivered to onboard bins, were subsequently sent to Unifrutti’s packing facility for detailed data analysis, which demonstrated the system’s ability to successfully perform selective picking as well as minimize bruising.
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Danielle Efargan Hager