Robots use artificial intelligence to pollinate truss tomato plants in place of bumblebees

Leading Australian fresh produce company Costa Group has partnered with Israeli company Arugga AI Farming to deploy robotic pollination in one of its tomato glasshouses.

Costa Group Arugga AI Farming robotic pollinator tomato

Pollination in glasshouses around the world is generally done using bumblebees, however, their use is banned in Australia, so the pollination process is completed by hand.

The autonomous pollination robot, called Polly, will be used on truss tomato plants at Costa’s tomato glasshouse operation in Guyra, New South Wales.

The 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 that imitates buzz pollination as performed by bumblebees.