Smaller, faster, cheaper and more durable intelligent mobile robots will be possible with Antobot robotics technology, which offers twice the ‘brain’ power of commercially available mobile robots in a third of the size. It has recently secured £1.2 million in their seed funding round to help develop its mobile agriculture robot prototypes.
Antobot Ltd is a robotics technology company, with teams in Cambridge UK and China, which is focused on the control hardware and software development for intelligent mobile robots. It presented as part of the Start-Up Showcase at the Agri-TechE REAP 2020 conference.
Antobot’s robotics presented at REAP 2020
At the conference Antobot’s founder, Howard Wu, explained: “Our first commercial product will be a highly compact four-wheel-drive scouting robot capable of counting fruits and determining fruit ripeness and size, whilst also mapping fruiting locations in three dimensions to allow picking at a later stage.
“Small ground-based machines are able to fit into narrow spaces between plants to map fruit location in detail, and being light also prevents soil compaction. But the challenge of building very small robots is the requirement for a smaller control unit.
“Our universal Robot Control Unit (uRCU®) achieves twice as much ‘brain’ power as the current market leading mobile robot company, despite being just 1/3rd the size,” says Wu. “We also offer our uRCU to other robotics companies, to accelerate their robotics application development.”
The uRCU®’s sophisticated design combines the core hardware and advanced software for agri-robotic applications in one compact single unit.
Funding for fruit scouting robot
Funding from Intron Technology Holdings Ltd a leading automotive electronics solutions provider in China, will enable Antobot to develop various full applications using its modular platform, starting with its scouting robot, Insight.
Focusing initially on the £875 million UK fruit sector, Insight travels autonomously through the farm and, using artificial intelligence, gathers accurate, timely and rich data for deeper insight into crop yield, profile, and pest / disease management.
Unlike manual scouting or scouting using large heavy machinery, Insight is powered by renewable energy and does not require any labour. Working with a selection of partner farms in England, Insight will be trialled in UK fields this summer of 2021.
Eddie Chan, Co-CEO and Executive Director of Intron Technology says. “We are strongly committed to Research and Development at Intron, particularly when promoting sustainability. And we are looking forward to working with Antobot, learning from each other, and helping Antobot grow into the leading force in the agricultural robotics sector we know it can be”
Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE, says: “In the crowded agri-robotics market, Antobot is focussing on affordability and providing a platform solution to differentiate itself. It’s particularly exciting to see the application of expertise from other sectors into agriculture and the company is ground-truthing the potential application with farmers.”