|

Iron Ox Launches Mobile Support Robot for Farming System

IronOx Grover400x275

November 2, 2021

Iron Ox, which is developing farming innovations utilizing plant science, robotics, and artificial intelligence, has announced a mobile support robot named Grover. The mobile robot can lift more than 1,000 pounds and assists in the monitoring, watering, and harvesting of several crops, from leafy greens to strawberries.

Iron Ox said Grover is a key component to its broader farming ecosystem, a closed-loop system that optimizes plant yield, reduces growth cycle time and maximizes crop quality. 

“We are applying technology to minimize the amount of land, water and energy needed to nourish a growing population,” said Brandon Alexander, the CEO of Iron Ox. “Our short-term goal is to mitigate the impact of climate change on the agriculture system. And we won’t stop until we achieve our long-term mission of making the produce sector carbon negative.”

The company said Grover is the result of a team of roboticists, plant scientists, and engineers. The system uses AI, machine learning, computer vision and robotics to grow more with less, leading to less food waste and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Grover lets Iron Ox change crops at a moment’s notice to meet the needs of nearby grocery stores that might experience a spike in demand for specific seasonal or out-of-season produce.

The robot includes a differential drive system, multiple lidar sensors, upward and forward-facing camera systems. The lift system can autonomously move 1,000-pound, 6-by-6-foot modules of hydroponically fed plants throughout a greenhouse. Modules are regularly transported by Grover to a scanning booth for inspection – based on those results, they are taken for additional water, nutrients, or harvesting.

“Designing and building Grover was a complex multi-year project, solving many challenges in hardware, software, autonomy and mobility,” said Sarah Osentoski, Iron Ox’s senior vice president of engineering. “Our goal is to make Iron Ox a center for excellence in agriculture with a core competence in artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

Earlier this year, the company broke ground on a 535,000 square-foot indoor farm in Lockhart, Texas, joining other farms in Northern California. Produce from Iron Ox can be found throughout California at Whole Foods Markets and at San Francisco Bay Area markets such as Bianchini’s and Mollie Stone’s. The company said sales outside of California are expected to begin by the holidays, with the first harvest from the new Texas facility.

For more details on Grover, visit the Iron Ox website here.


Robotics World News

  • Phantom AI Raises $36.5M to Advance Autonomous Driving Platform

    Phantom AI Raises $36.5M to Advance Autonomous Driving Platform

    Phantom AI, a Silicon Valley-based startup developing an autonomous driving platform with computer vision, sensor fusion and control capabilities, has announced it raised $36.5 million in a Series C funding round. The company aims to help customers reduce accidents and make everyday driving more enjoyable, while also unlocking what is next in the advanced driving… Read More…

  • Raise Robotics Raises $2.2M in Seed Round Funding

    Raise Robotics Raises $2.2M in Seed Round Funding

    Raise Robotics, which develops robotic equipment for construction sites, has announced it raised $2.2 million in a pre-seed funding round (reported by Construction Dive). The company is currently providing fenestration and mass timber contractors with semi-autonomous equipment that completes bracket layout, installment and verification four times faster than standard methods. “Our mission at Raise is… Read More…


Products for Robots & Cobots

  • Xfuse Launches Phoenix ISP for AMD’s SOMs and Vision AI Starter Kit

    Xfuse Launches Phoenix ISP for AMD’s SOMs and Vision AI Starter Kit

    Xfuse LLC, which develops customizable imaging and video technology, has announced immediate availability of its Phoenix HDR ISP for the AMD Kria K26 System-on-Module (SOM) and the KV260 Vision AI Starter Kit. Designed for AI developers and computer vision engineers that need to capture real-time, data-rich imaging streams, the Phoenix HDR ISP delivers fully-tone mapped… Read More…

  • Sponsored Video: Oriental Motor BLV Series R

    Sponsored Video: Oriental Motor BLV Series R

    Brushless motors are commonly used in AGV/AMR designs for battery-powered, compact, and lightweight equipment movement. To assist with this development, Oriental Motors has created the BLV Series R Type of modular automation compatible products. The new motors provide DC power supply options of 60 W, 100 W, 200 W and 400 W. Features of the… Read More…