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  • Writer's pictureDan Spiner

One Company's Mission to Transform Farming into 'On-Demand-Harvesting'​

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Quite an interesting space; the future of fruit harvesting. Fruit pickers are becoming harder and harder to find. The job is low paid, seasonal, hard, and repetitive with few prospects for advancement. Pickers are continuing to age while the younger generation is migrating to urban areas in search of year-round, higher-paying, full-time jobs. How do you solve the ‘people’ aspect of farming? Availability of labor, housing, pay, and picking efficiency, present increasingly unsolvable business problems.

Not all fruit is ready to pick at the same time.

In an optimum situation, fruit needs to be picked at the right moment; some now and some allowed to ripen longer and be picked on another day. This would require an additional deployment of scarce resources, training to know what to pick, while a conflict exists since pay is based on amount picked. Then there is the problem of reaching fruit above the point of where a ladder can reach.

Worldwide, labor and reach issues in picking fruit leaves the equivalent of EU’s annual consumption unpicked.

Flying, autonomous robot drone technology is helping solve the problem. Tethered drones, controlled by an operator, arrive stacked in a hive and go to work picking the fruit that is ready. An AI processed video stream controls a picking arm on the drone to pick what is ready and what should be left behind to continue to ripen. A repeat picking session on another day is not cost prohibitive.

The target is to pick fruit at the right time, at half the cost, and be benevolent to the workforce.

Tevel is an Israel based startup that has been building and refining a solution based on autonomous flying robots that pick fruit at the right time while cutting waste and increasing yield for farmers. It accomplishes the task at a lower labor cost with better working conditions. Doesn’t that sound great? An innovative futuristic idea to elevate the age-old profession of fruit picking.

Tevel Aerobotics Technologies was founded in 2017 and has been disrupting the fruit-farming industry ever since.

The technology provides ‘harvesting-on-demand’ solutions to fruit growers around the world. Tevel develops and deploys a fleet of flying robots for picking fruit, thinning, pruning, and farm management. For the tech gurus out there, Tevel’s technology combines artificial intelligence, airborne robotics, 3D-imaging, proprietary algorithms, and precise aerodynamic control.

It was identified and agreed to invest early in this company. Several years ago, Tevel was an idea, a set of slides, several smart people, and an untethered drone prototype. Took a deep breath and placed the bet. How smart to add a wire to supply the drones unlimited power and gain control. A business formula that can’t fail is when you believe in the idea, have a desire to revolutionize fruit harvesting, stay excited, work hard, keep raising funds, and best of all, cement in place contracts with major fruit growers for all the drone output you can support for several years. Place your startup idea within this framework and what’s your outlook? Would love to know your result within this formula.

As the world population grows, fruit production and harvesting will be an important component of the worldwide food supply. As the number of agriculture employees continues to plummet, Tevel’s innovation will be implemented through collaborations with machinery vendors around the world to integrate the company’s autonomous fruit-picking system into their processes.

The world is full of inventive people, making positive contributions every day.

If you need someone with experience and vision into the future to validate the traction of your idea, reach out and let’s talk.

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