An agri-tech company from Essex is helping farmers overcome labour shortages and practice precision agriculture, thanks to support from the Agri-EPI Centre.
Antobot is developing two robots which will help farmers target valuable resources in the most productive areas, as well as taking some time-consuming tasks off skilled workers.
The Agri-EPI Centre has supported Antobot with knowledge and their network in agriculture, increasing understanding of the sector and facilitating connections with growers, research organisations and other companies.
They have collaborated on multiple grant funding applications with successful joint bids to develop agri-tech innovations. The Agri-EPI Centre’s invaluable knowledge and networking has helped Antobot to develop their business and market potential, contributing to their successful £1.2m seed round in 2021.
Antobot business development manager Zoë Stockton said:
“We first started working with the Agri-EPI Centre in 2020 and have built a great relationship with the team.
“One of the greatest benefits of our relationship with Agri-EPI Centre has been the expert knowledge they have, particularly about funding streams to help us innovate. As a result of that help, we were awarded Project Insight in UKRI and Defra’s Farming Innovation Pathways program which we are working on with Agri-EPI.
“The development of our Insight robot is the focus of this 24-month project, and Agri-EPI are involved as project managers and knowledge experts.
“They were really useful when we were going through that funding application. The relationship has also directly delivered new business for us, helping us to grow and create sustainable jobs. The assistance has been invaluable.”
Agri-EPI Centre, part of the UK’s Agri-Tech Strategy and supported by Innovate UK, helps develop profitable and productive solutions to empower more sustainable farms and aims to support projects which will generate economic growth and help tackle the global issues of sustainability and feeding the world.
There are four centres across the UK, dedicated to innovation.
Antobot has created a modular robot system which can be adapted for different purposes. The first two applications being developed are Insight, a scouting robot, and Assist, which is used for logistics.
Insight is currently in field trials on partner farms, primarily with strawberry and apple crops. It can collect and process data about crop growth and ripeness so precious worker resources can be directed to the areas where yield is likely to be higher.