Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Yamaha Motor continues to make strategic investments in robotic solutions for agriculture, with the latest move related to strawberry harvesting.
In the most recent announcement, Yamaha together with Kubota Corporation have upped their investment in the California-based startup Advanced Farm Technologies.
This startup seeks to raise efficiency by developing and manufacturing robots for strawberry harvesting. Its current robotic strawberry harvester combines an unmanned ground vehicle together with image sensors and artificial intelligence. The image recognition technologies instantly distinguish ripe and ready strawberries, and the grippers at the end of the robot arms gently pick each one.
This is hardly Yamaha’s only initiative of the sort.
Earlier this year, Yamaha partnered with Yield Technology Solutions, Australian agricultural technology startup, and Treasury Wine Estates to optimize yield production in wine grapes and improve autonomous crop spraying using robots.
However, Yamaha’s investments have not always been successful. It had invested several million dollars in the California-based startup Abundant Robotics, which had developed a harvesting robot that initially targeted apples. The company, however, shut down this July explaining that it “was unable to develop the market traction necessary to support its business during the pandemic.”
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