Crewing orchards is notoriously difficult in New Zealand. Combined with growing challenges such as better pollination systems, robust quality control and traceability and cost competitive practice, the time was ripe for automation innovation in horticulture. Robotics Plus is proving that automated systems in horticulture not only work but they can be engineered to better practice and reduce costs.
Owner and Managing Director of RoboticsPlus, Steve Saunders started in pack houses. Early on he recognised the need to innovate within the horticulture industry to ensure efficiency, best practice and cost competitiveness.
Steve’s vision and industry knowledge collided with technical know-how when he met the then PhD candidate, mechatronics engineer, Alistair Scarfe. Steve was visiting Massey University as part of a Zespri organised group of industry practitioners with a view to providing the mechatronics team with practical feedback. Both men wanted to develop technology and capability with a focus on automated systems for horticulture and such was the genesis of RoboticsPlus, a company focused on developing mechanisation, automation, robotics and sensor (MARS) technologies for horticulture and other primary industries.