Agerris, an Australia-based robotics and AI platform for agriculture, announced over the weekend that it has raised $6.5 million (AUSD) in seed funding from Uniseed, Carthona Capital and BridgeLane Group.
The startup was founded by Professor Salah Sukarrieh and began as research at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney (which is also a partner in Uniseed). From the looks of it, Agerris is building a modular robotics and AI platform that has broad applications for both plant and livestock farmers.
According to a University of Sydney news post, Agerris has two main products. The “Swagbot” can autonomously monitor and identify weed issues, detect food and crops through computer vision, as well as herd livestock. Agerris'”Digital Farmhand” is a lower cost robot platform to help row and tree crop farmers manage crop health and yields.
Agerris will begin trials in Australia before attempting to expand to Southeast Asia and countries in the South Pacific over the next year.
AgTech presents a big opportunity for robotics as the world’s farms will need to increase production to keep up with a growing global population, and robots can do much of the hard, manual labor that comes with farming. Adding to that pressure currently here in the U.S., farms are facing a labor shortage, creating even more need for automation in the fields.
Agerris seems similar to Pennsylvania-based Augean Robotics, which scored its own seed funding last week. Augean builds the Burro, a squat, rugged, wheeled robot meant to haul gear and crops around a farm. But the Burro is also a broader platform, upon which Augean will offer additional ag-specific capabilities such as weed detection, targeted spraying and more.
If you are interested in how robotics will change the meal journey, be sure to come to our ArticulATE food robot and automation summit next week in San Francisco. Tickets are almost gone, so get yours today!