Harvest Automation was founded by Charles Grinnell and a small team of world-class robotic innovators in 2008. They started with a broad search across multiple industries to identify critical market challenges that could be addressed with practical robotic solutions. They found an excellent fit and great starting point for the company in material handling for the Nursery and Greenhouse industry. After working closely with numerous industry leaders, the HV-100 was born: the world’s first fully autonomous robot that works alongside people in unmodified industrial environments. Fast forward to today and over 150 HV-100s have been deployed at more than 30 top growers across the United States.
Harvest’s robots enable smarter production for growers by providing significant gains in productivity, efficiency and plant quality. Addressing labor scarcity issues, Harvest enables growers to create a sustainable workforce of robots working safely alongside people in the face of a volatile labor market with a shrinking pool of available workers. Harvest’s robots can perform as much manual labor as required by each grower, creating more capacity for human workers to focus on other tasks. The robots can also increase plant quality by optimizing plant placement in the fields and reduce non‐labor production costs including the use of water, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
With pressures from labor, production costs, and environmental factors on the rise, the need for robotics in agriculture has never been greater. Today the team at Harvest is focused on continuing to improve the HV-100 while also working to expand into other agricultural markets such as fruit and vegetable production. Our new push with robots will help workers be more productive by reducing their walk time during harvest, help growers produce more crops per acre, and allow crops to be grown anywhere in the country that land and water are economical. The future is very bright and productive for Harvest Automation!