On Thursday 1st December, students at Writtle University College in Essex saw a robot rolling through their corridors. The robotic system with autonomous navigation and AI for fruit scouting was created by Antobot, an award-winning agri-tech company with headquarters in Chelmsford, and satellite offices in Cambridge and Shanghai.
Antobot CEO and Founder, Dr Howard Wu, works to create more sustainable food production practice using technology. Students heard from the team and watched a live demonstration in one of the University College's greenhouses.
Writtle University College's Dr Anya Perera said: "We were delighted to welcome Antobot to our campus. At Writtle University College we offer our students opportunities to experience the very latest agri-tech. Thank you to Dr Wu and his team for demonstrating the ways they place science into practice."
The robot is made with sustainable materials and powered by renewables using a battery with optional solar panel and features a fruit-specific computer vision that helps growers to monitor their crop's condition and the size of yields. It has live-streaming, autonomous navigation and teleoperation capabilities with a web portal for detailed analysis.
The technology was demonstrated to students studying first year agriculture and horticulture, third year agriculture and MSc Crop Production.
Dr Wu said: "We were thrilled to present our tech to Writtle's students today. The students had so much insight from their varied agricultural backgrounds so it was great to introduce them into agri-tech and our robots. Being based just down the road in Chelmsford, we're looking forward to building a strong relationship between Antobot and Writtle University College as a historic Essex institution with nearly 130 years' experience in agriculture."