A British agritech start-up have won £50,000 to develop a precision drilling and planting robot called “Harry”.
The Small Robot Company was awarded the grant from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, sponsored by Innovate UK.
Harry will accurately place seeds individually in the ground at a uniform depth to within 2cm accuracy, creating a plant level map showing the location of each seed. A commercial trial is anticipated for October 2018.
Ben Scott-Robinson, co-founder of the Portsmouth-based company said: “It is a great honour to receive such a highly-regarded industry award. Such prestigious recognition of the work we’re doing to transform farming is game-changing.
“The MTC’s expertise and development help will be invaluable to get our robots to market. We can now get them working on real farms at scale this growing season. This puts us at the vanguard for future farming.”
Alan Howard, IET’s design and manufacturing lead added: “Feeding an estimated extra 2.2 billion people living on planet earth by 2050 is going to be one of the biggest challenges we face in the future.
“This brilliant idea from Small Robot Company, with its ingenious application of robotics and automation technologies, could provide a vital and secure source of food to help feed the world”.