Plus Group

The Plus Group of Companies offers a range of uniquely integrated horticultural solutions both domestically and internationally. Its core passion is the long-term sustainability of horticulture delivered to our valued clients through service excellence, experience and innovation.

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GroPlus provides a world class kiwifruit orchard management service that maximises grower returns and delivers to our customers’ service excellence, product superiority and innovation.

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Pollen Plus

Pollen Plus is one of the world's largest suppliers of high quality Male Kiwifruit Pollen and artificial pollination services and solutions. Our products are available internationally and New Zealand wide.

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BioSoil & Crop specialises in sampling and analysing soil and tissues of perennial crop plants and making nutrient recommendations based on these results.

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Our Story

Robotics Plus Ltd emerged from the need to solve the growing challenges
in the primary industry globally such as: labour shortages, sustainability for growers,
pollination gaps and yield security.

During the early days of GroPlus, the first of the Plus Group companies, Steve Saunders had a vision of  sustainability – decades before this concept became mainstream.  Steve recognised the underlying need to adopt best practices that would ensure efficiency in the horticulture industry, yet at the heart of all decisions was the deep desire to look after the growers.  

This service-driven business model is alive and well today, with new business development still tied to improving the grower experience and their yield security.  These values drive the Plus Group of Companies to continue to operate with a common purpose that connects the group together and gives a clear point of difference to customers.

Steves Vision...

Steve’s vision and industry knowledge collided with technical know-how when he met the then PhD candidate Alistair Scarfe.

Their collective aim was to develop technology and capability with a focus on automated systems for horticulture to address the growing challenges in the industry.

Three key outcomes emerged
from this capability building period:

  • A kiwifruit harvester independently assessed as world-leading harvest technology
  • A quadbike-based kiwifruit pollination system called QuadDuster™ that demonstrated the benefits of even assistive technologies, but more importantly it validated the vision of a ‘service model’ approach to technology deployment.
  •  Alistair’s completed PhD in Industrial Automation, helped solidify the technological basis of RPL’s approach.

With this footing, Robotics Plus Ltd (RPL) was established as a start-up company focused on developing Mechanisation, Automation, Robotics and Sensor (MARS) technologies for horticulture and other primary industries. We employ a modern technological approach to automation using advanced computer based design, embedded control systems and modern manufacturing processes that have enabled us to develop several world first technologies and deliver efficient solutions across a range of engineering disciplines.

Our team’s multidisciplinary background enables us to address complete systems not just individual sections.  We integrate the best technological solution(s) based on merit.  Although off-the-shelf components are used where possible, many components or systems are either too costly or not quite right for optimising performance.  We often develop our own arms and control systems to ensure we can meet all specifications, whether its speed, size, cost or other metric to ensure we can meet end-user requirements. By incorporating technology with strong end-user engagement and input RPL strives to create solutions tailored for the end-user, not what an engineer thinks an end-user might want.

This is what sets us apart

Customer insight is critical to creating systems suitable for industry.

During the first five years of startup phase, RPL’s core strategic focus and function was directed at research and development of an Autonomous [] Kiwifruit Harvester and a Robotic Apple Packing Cell; building internal capability and strategic relationships; as well as investigating market and customer requirements.   What emerged is an approach to business that provides access to our cutting-edge technological through contract service so our customers do not have to buy complete systems and get the most
up-to-date versions on the market.

We live in a growing world where it is becoming harder to supply healthy food options like fresh produce to people globally and keep maintain a competitive price point against processed alternatives. Robotics can help the sustainable future of fresh produce.

Robotics Plus Ltd can deliver products, processes, services or advice with a complete system perspective.


Our Awards

Finalist for NZ Hi-Tech Young Achiever of the Year 2012
Winner of Tauranga 2011 Rocket Young Innovator of the Year (under 40)
Alistair is the first scholar to receive the Dick and Mary Earle Scholarship in
Technology for three consecutive years
ZESPRI Innovation Fellowship 2011


Want to know more? Get in touch.