A field robotics start-up based on technology created by the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics has received a $6.5 million investment.
The investment, led by research commercialisation fund, Uniseed, will be used to formally launch Agerris, which has already commercialised two robotics platforms.
The centre for field robotics, best known for its work with Rio Tinto automating the iron ore value chain, is now working to improve livestock and horticultural productivity.
Professor of robotics and intelligent systems and Agerris CEO, Salah Sukkarieh, said farmers faced challenges in boosting food production to feed rising populations.
Sukkarieh said: “Our platforms help to mitigate these challenges and help increase productivity by giving farmers smart precision farming approaches, made possible through our advances in sensor technology and farming automation.
“At the same time, our technology also enhances animal welfare and environmental sustainability.”
Agerris has developed two robotic systems:
# Swagbot is an electric ground vehicle that can identify and manage weed levels
# and Digital Farmhand is a low-cost autonomous vehicle that automates on-farm tasks.
Uniseed invested in the company alongside Carthona Capital and BridgeLane Group.
Uniseed Investment Manager, Anthony Musumeci believes the company will attract overseas interest.
Musumeci said: “Agerris has developed groundbreaking technology that not only addresses the growing need for increased agricultural productivity but promises to radically transform the farming process and make Australia a world-leader in intelligent farm systems.”
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