Hippo Harvest, a California-based controlled environment agriculture startup, has successfully integrated autonomous mobile robots from Zebra Technologies, a supply chain technology solution provider, into its indoor farming operations.
The robots have been put to use mainly to grow greens. Zebra says the robots enabling the company to “save up to 92 percent of water and use 55 percent less fertilizer than conventional produce growers”.
Hippo Harvest is using advanced plant science, machine learning, and robotics to grow leafy greens and other produce in sustainable greenhouse environments.
Pioneering new growing methods to combat global warming, Hippo Harvest built a system that uses machine learning to determine how much water, fertilizer and light is needed to produce its crops.
Inside its greenhouses, Hippo Harvest is leveraging Zebra’s Freight100 AMRs to farm its plants more efficiently, from delivering precise levels of water and nutrition to plants, to delicately harvesting the company’s crops.
In addition, Zebra’s Fetch AMRs are assigned picking and moving tasks around its greenhouse facilities so workers can focus on more strategic activities.
The AMRs also serve as a direct link for data collection for the company’s machine learning algorithms to make improvements in production and greenhouse throughput.
Eitan Marder-Eppstein, Hippo Harvest CEO, says: “We found exactly what we needed with Zebra’s AMRs to develop growing methods that address some of the biggest challenges facing our food supply and the agriculture sector.
“We’re excited to continue collaborating with Zebra Technologies as we work to develop transformative growing processes that are sustainable and make the best use of our natural resources.”
Hippo Harvest signed The Climate Pledge, a commitment founded by Amazon and Global Optimism for businesses to reach net-zero carbon by 2040.
The startup uses only natural pest controls, and its greenhouses are strategically located near consumers to increase the shelf life of its greens and reduce carbon emissions.
Matthew Wicks, senior director of product management, Zebra Technologies, says: “Hippo Harvest has deployed Zebra’s AMRs inside its greenhouses to help farm plants more efficiently, save water and reduce food waste.
“Our robots are easy to configure and deploy, which allows for a variety of applications from repetitive pick and move, to more complex activities such as harvesting of plants and data collection.
“We’re excited to help Hippo Harvest apply Zebra’s most advanced technology solutions to work in new ways and deliver fresh, sustainably grown produce to its customers.”