Robotics Plus is exploring partnerships to move its new robotic apple packer into commercial production, says company chief technical officer and one of the directors, Alistair Scarfe. The company has run prototype tests with four of the apple packers operating in packhouses in Nelson and two destined for the USA to test the product in the American market.
Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) was created to unlock new levels of productivity in some of the world’s most labour intensive value chains. Since 2013 the company has focused on building mechanisation, automation, robotic and sensor technologies to address this challenge, says Alistair. The apple packing industry, which typically struggles to find sufficient labour to meet demand, was an obvious target.