NZ robotics company named in global top 50 AgTech list

A Tauranga based company that specialises in robotics for the agriculture industry is celebrating after being named as a global leader in the field.

Robotics Plus has been named in the THRIVE Top 50, an annual ranking of leading global AgTech companies that exemplify the best in agriculture innovation.

It was the only New Zealand company to make the 2020 Top 50 ranking and was one of five companies featured in the Robotics & Automation category.

Over the past two years Robotics Plus has launched its first two commercial innovations - the Āporo apple packer and an automatic log scaler, entering the US and European markets, and completing a US$10M investment with Yamaha Motor Co.  

Robotics Plus CEO Dr Matt Glenn said receiving the spot on the list was a huge honour.

"We're thrilled to be showcased in such a prestigious list alongside exceptional AgTech companies from around the world who are pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation. 

Dr Matt Glenn, CEO of Robotics Plus.
Dr Matt Glenn, CEO of Robotics Plus. Photo credit: Supplied

"It's a fantastic acknowledgement for our diverse team who are developing world-leading innovation incorporating automation, vision, robotics and AI," said Glenn.

Robotics Plus was founded in 2013 by Steve Saunders and Dr Alistair Scarfe to improve the quality, productivity and sustainability across multiple agricultural sectors through automation.

Saunders said inclusion on the list was fantastic validation for the Robotics Plus team.

"They've put in an enormous amount of work over the past few years to develop world-first platform technologies that help solve some really important food and fibre challenges in agriculture. 

 "We'd also like to recognise our fantastic partners and collaborators in the commercial, research and Government sectors, who have played a vital role in our technology and company development," said Saunders

 Meanwhile Glenn said it was exciting times for the company.

"Our vision is to grow into a truly global business that will transform a number of industries.  We're rapidly growing our world-class development team to prototype new ideas, validate new components and integrate these into our robotic systems.

Robotics Plus’ robotic Āporo apple packers recently installed in a US packhouse.
Robotics Plus’ robotic Āporo apple packers recently installed in a US packhouse. Photo credit: Supplied

"Importantly we're also well supported by local and international partners who are helping us scale quickly to meet market demand."

The THRIVE Top 50  will be featured at the THRIVE Innovation Summit in Silicon Valley on 25 March 2020.  

The Innovation Summit, which covers topics such as automated agriculture, climate-positive agriculture, next-gen proteins, blockchain, indoor/vertical farming, integrated supply chain, and biotechnology, also attracts leaders of Fortune 500 food and agriculture corporations implementing these disruptive technologies.