Verdant Robotics has expanded its robot-as-a-service (RaaS) model to ensure access for more specialty crop farmers.
Founded in late 2018 by a leading roboticist, a software engineer and a California farmer, Verdant has raised USD$21.5 million to develop the industry’s first multi-action, autonomous farm-robot capable of millimetre-accurate spraying, laser weeding and AI-based digital crop modeling.
Verdant has already contracted to service approximately 40 percent of the U.S. carrot market exclusively for the next five years and is currently scaling to meet the needs of the U.S. multi-billion-dollar fruit and vegetable industry.
“Farmers told us not to give them more data, but to figure out what to do with the mountains of data they already have, or better yet just go do it,” said Gabe Sibley, PhD., Verdant co-founder and CEO. “They want a complete solution that takes action in real-time and keeps farmers in control – all while improving profitability and automating dangerous, back-breaking field work.”
Combining multiple technologies, the company’s six-row and 12-row commercial implements can treat up to 4.2 acres per hour, achieving a higher weed-removal rate per acre than other technology or human ability, and reducing chemical usage by up to 95 percent. Simultaneously, its autonomous software system collects data and uses machine learning capabilities to optimize yield and growing outcomes.
Verdant’s computational robotic and autonomous software systems combine decades of advancements in scientific fields – including computer vision, artificial intelligence, robotics, GPS-denied navigation, chemistry, and soil and plant sciences – to achieve the next generation of crop production.
Verdant leveraged investments from leading agriculture investors, including lead investor DCVC Bio, Autotech Ventures, Future Ventures, AgFunder and Cavallo Ventures, among others. Building upon these investments, the company is expanding its platform with plans to commercialize a precision multi-action machine for orchards by 2023.
Read more about autonomous vehicles in open-field agriculture in this feature in New AG International, here.