Tevel Aerobotics Technologies, an Israeli company developing an autonomous robotic apple harvester, declined Good Fruit Grower interview attempts when running trials of their technology in Washington orchards earlier this fall.
But their flying robot harvest technology was on display for attendees at the Interpoma apple trade show in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy, in November.
There, company representatives referred interview requests to the company’s social media posts and photos of a demonstration in front of a handful of invited growers at Roy Farms in Moxee, Washington, late in the season.
The LinkedIn post read: “Goodbye Central Washington, you’ve been kind to us. We’ll see you again next summer.” The statement did not discuss how well the technology worked.
At Interpoma, Tevel held live demonstrations, sometimes with rock music, in the main lobby, every 20 minutes or so, picking plastic apples from a plastic wall of leaves.
Unlike the other startups in the autonomous harvest industry, the Tevel robot uses picking drones tethered to a bin-carrying autonomous vehicle.
—by Ross Courtney