Autonomous driving horticultural robot has future

An integral relaunch of robot maker Honest AgTech has failed to materialize. Yet the adventure of the level 5 autonomous driving horticultural robot is not ending. Viscon Group will further develop and commercialize the robot’s technology. The company from
‘s-Gravendeel points to ‘the unique proposition the robot occupies in the market, in terms of autonomous driving and locating the bot in the greenhouse.’

At the moment, the robots are being prepared for re-commissioning. This was confirmed by CEO Charlotte Langerak-Visser in response to the publication of the trustee’s latest bankruptcy report.

In it, trustee Claus from Heemstede informs that ‘an integral restart at the Honest AgTech site has not proved possible.’ The trustee received several bids for the inventory and intellectual property rights.

Unique feature
In equipping the robot with sensors, Honest went all-in. The robot on show in Berlin this spring is equipped with 3D cameras, 2- and 3D Lidar sensors, and ultrasonic sensors. What is special about the robot is that it can drive for 22 hours at a time, recharge in the path, and can also locate itself in the greenhouse.

All this completely autonomously, a unique feature compared to current robots in the market that require support from humans, points out Viscon. This means that the robot can work in the greenhouse day and night. Moreover, the robot has the special ability to locate its position in the greenhouse. The latter proves very difficult in a greenhouse environment, which acts as a Faraday cage.

Focus on autonomous driving
In further developing the technology, Viscon is now focusing on the autonomous driving platform. It sees a future in this.

At Fruit Logistica in Berlin this year, the robot platform also featured a UV-C boom for UV-C disinfection. Viscon is in talks with growers who used the robot for UV-C disinfection to get the robots working again.

As usual in bankruptcies, the trustee is still conducting a legitimate investigation. For now, he has not come across any other
causes encountered than those already known.