Harvest Automation is a material handling company headquartered outside Boston, Massachusetts - an area known for robotics innovation. Our team members are industry recognized leaders in robotics and new product development with a track record of developing cutting-edge technology products and successfully bringing them to market. Our robots operate safely and efficiently in teams with human workers - a dramatic innovation in the world of manual labor. Harvest`s robots resolve acute manual labor problems across multiple industries, starting with Agriculture. In many industry sectors labor availability, changing labor laws, and tightening environmental regulations are simply unsustainable. These fundamental risks and cost pressures are driving a critical need for automation.
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!
Harvest has developed a new approach to automating a variety of traditionally manual labor tasks based on mobile robot technology. Teams of small, highly intelligent machines work safely with laborers to perform the most physically demanding parts of these tasks, and at a significantly reduced cost.
At Harvest, we use an approach called Behavior-Based Robotics. Our intelligent, adaptive approach to automation provides a scalable and robust system architecture for robots to work in even the most challenging environments. Harvest’s platform responds immediately to changes in the work environment, intelligently accounts for imperfect sensory data and requires little set-up and programming.
Harvest robots, in addition to performing work, are efficiently collecting information that can be used for analysis and production planning. Future products will include sensing and image capture technologies that will allow for scalable data gathering.
Harvest robots are small, safe and flexible. They have been designed to not only navigate within current infrastructure, but also to change and manipulate their environment. Harvest robots have automated loading and unloading capability allowing users to de-couple the robots from people. Our systems are not simply tugs. These are sophisticated mobile vehicles that can pick things up and put things down, autonomously.
Harvest robots are practical for customer to use: easy to program, flexible and easy to deploy. There is very little need to change existing infrastructure or workflows. Our systems are practical in that customers can choose to scale the number of robots deployed to match work needed to be done.
Harvest robots are designed to work alongside people. We believe the highest value can often be derived by smartly dividing the work. Humans will perform some tasks, robots will perform others. Harvest robots are small and safe, have the ability to see obstacles and navigate accordingly. Harvest robots are designed to collect, track and communicate information so that owners can effectively record and plan work.
Harvest robots are helping our customers solve the problems associated with the uncertainty of a workforce (availability, cost, overhead, etc.) Robots are deployed so that there is consistent and predictable quality and throughput at the beginning and end of each shift.