California-based agricultural robotics company, farm-ng, has successfully raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Acre Venture Partners. The investment will play a crucial role in expanding the deployment of farm-ng’s modular robotic solutions tailored for small- and mid-sized farms.

Key Investors and Participation

Acre Venture Partners spearheaded the Series A round, with significant contributions from Xplorer Capital, HawkTower, and other institutional and individual investors. The funds secured will be allocated towards enhancing customer support, developing customer-facing features, and introducing new capabilities for farm-ng’s fleet of autonomous robots.

Modular Innovation: Meet Amiga

At the heart of farm-ng’s success lies its modular approach to agricultural robotics. The company’s flagship autonomous robot, “Amiga,” boasts a versatile design that can be adapted to assist with various tasks on the farm, including soil preparation, planting, harvesting, and crop care.

CEO Ethan Rublee emphasizes the uniqueness of their modular system, positioning Amiga as a developer product. Rublee states, “We view farmers as our customers, [along with] the research customers and the startup customers we serve that are all trying to build solutions.”

Empowering Farmers Through Innovation

Recognizing the historical role of farmers as innovators, farm-ng aims to empower them with cutting-edge robotics technology. Operating from Central California, a hub for specialty crop production in the US, the company is committed to lowering barriers for farms to innovate in the realm of robotics.

Rublee highlights their community-led innovation effort, involving collaborations with high school and community college students who actively engage in building applications and working with farmers. The company has deployed over 100 Amigas to farmers and collaborates with entities like Western Growers to collect data, which is then open-sourced to benefit other developers and robotics companies.

Challenges and Collaborative AI

One of the significant challenges in automating specialty crops with smaller acreage is the diversity of environments and practices involved in growing food. Claire Delaunay, CTO of farm-ng, emphasizes the importance of designing AI interfaces that are collaborative, advocating for a balance between autonomy and intervention.

Delaunay notes, “It’s really important to design AI interfaces that are actually collaborative, and not completely autonomous without any single intervention. It sounds like a small distinction, but it actually has a lot of implication on how you develop software.”

Looking Ahead: Redefining Agricultural Automation

With their commitment to keeping costs low and fostering collaboration within the community, farm-ng poses a critical question: “What if you were inventing the tractor today?” The company’s forward-thinking approach, coupled with the adaptability of its modular robotic solutions, positions farm-ng at the forefront of redefining agricultural automation in the 21st century.

By Admin

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