Fieldwork Robotics' AI-powered autonomous harvesting robot, Alpha, is revolutionizing berry farming in the UK.
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Fieldwork Robotics Raises £1.5 Million

Cambridge-based startup, Fieldwork Robotics, has secured an impressive £1.5 million in funding for its groundbreaking autonomous harvesting robot. The company aims to address the critical challenge of labor shortages faced by fruit and vegetable producers in the UK due to factors such as Covid-19, Brexit, and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing funding round, conducted through a Seedrs campaign, is part of a larger initiative to raise over £2 million. The successful investment comes from Elbow Beach Capital, with support from Frontier IP and other existing investors.

Fieldwork Robotics has emerged as a beacon of innovation by developing a cutting-edge AI-powered robot designed specifically for berry farms. Traditional reliance on seasonal labor for harvesting has been hampered by various geopolitical and economic factors, prompting the need for a revolutionary solution. The company’s AI-supported robot, aptly named Alpha, offers an autonomous and efficient method of harvesting, with the potential to reshape the agricultural landscape.

The University of Plymouth spin-out, backed by Innovate UK and support from EIT Food, has joined forces with industry giant Bosch to bring Alpha to life. This collaborative effort has resulted in a remarkable robot capable of autonomously harvesting raspberries, marking a significant stride towards reducing labor dependency and enhancing productivity within the agricultural sector.

Alpha’s successful deployment on farms in Portugal has showcased its prowess, working tirelessly around the clock. This tireless work ethic translates into tangible benefits for farmers, including increased productivity and reduced crop wastage. The fruits harvested by Alpha have found their way onto the shelves of prominent UK supermarkets, including M&S, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose, showcasing the real-world impact of this groundbreaking technology.

David Fulton, recently appointed as CEO of Fieldwork Robotics, emphasizes the significance of the investment by Elbow Beach Capital. He highlights the alignment between the company’s mission and the investor’s genuine commitment to creating positive impacts. This funding round holds the potential to empower forward-looking farms to overcome labor shortages, minimize crop wastage, and mitigate the challenges of food inflation.

Jon Pollock, CEO of Elbow Beach Capital, echoes the sentiment, emphasizing the urgent need for innovative technologies in the agricultural sector. He acknowledges the unsustainable levels of waste and economic inefficiencies that plague conventional farming practices and sees Fieldwork Robotics as a pioneering force that is directly addressing these concerns.

The collaboration between academia, industry, and investors showcases the power of interdisciplinary efforts in driving meaningful change. Fieldwork Robotics’ journey from a University of Plymouth spin-out to a leading innovator in autonomous agriculture underscores the potential of technology to reshape age-old industries.

As the world grapples with the evolving challenges of the 21st century, the agricultural sector’s transformation through AI and robotics represents a beacon of hope. Fieldwork Robotics’ autonomous harvesting robot, Alpha, stands as a testament to human ingenuity and the potential to create a more sustainable, efficient, and resilient future for global food production. With continued support from visionary investors like Elbow Beach Capital, the trajectory of innovation in agriculture is set to reach new heights, promising a world where technology and nature harmoniously coexist for the benefit of all.

Image provided by Fieldwork Robotics

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