THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE HAS ARRIVED IN SOUTH AMERICA: UNIFRUTTI INTRODUCES GROUNDBREAKING FRUIT-PICKING ROBOTS, REVOLUTIONIZING AGRICULTURE IN CHILE THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WITH TEVEL
The future of the fruit industry is already happening in Chile, where apples are being picked by robots driven by artificial intelligence
Monday, May 29 – Gedera, Israel & Linares, Chile
In a first-ever collaboration, the face of the fruit industry in Chile is being revolutionized as A.I.-driven robots pick apples in Linares. This remarkable endeavor is the result of a partnership between Tevel, an Israeli robotics startup, and Unifrutti, offering a glimpse into the future of the agriculture industry. Tevel’s autonomous harvesting system was deployed in Unifrutti Chile’s apple orchards from March to May, harvesting several varieties of apples and picking the highest-quality fruit with unparalleled efficiency.
German Illanes, General Manager of Unifrutti in Chile, said “We at Unifrutti are thrilled to embrace Tevel’s advanced autonomous harvesting technology. As agritech plays a vital role in the future of Unifrutti and our industry, we see this partnership with Tevel as a significant investment in the future of the fruit industry. Together, we are driving progress and setting new standards for excellence. We are excited to have found in Tevel the right partner to move forward with and make a positive impact in the industry.”
Yaniv Maor, CEO & Founder of Tevel, said, “We are very excited to partner with Unifrutti in bringing the future of agriculture to Chile. This partnership is a testament that Tevel’s technology is the most cutting-edge solution for growers who want to elevate their harvesting to the next level. This marks a major milestone in the industry’s transformation towards adopting robotics and automation. Unifrutti is exactly the type of early adopter grower, pushing the boundaries of robot-ready orchards and welcoming new technologies. We are grateful for their support and belief in our vision.”
Maor added that “This partnership is significant because it brings together two leaders in the agriculture and technology industries to address a critical challenge facing fruit growers worldwide.”
The global agriculture industry has faced significant challenges in the past decade due to labor shortages during harvest time, resulting in lower fruit quality, higher labor costs, and lost revenue from unpicked fruit. Tevel’s autonomous harvesting technology addresses these issues by utilizing advanced Flying Autonomous Robots™ for precise, gentle and efficient fruit picking. Tevel’s robots are powered by A.I, computer vision and machine learning algorithms. The harvesting system features 8 Flying Autonomous Robots™ mounted on a ground harvesting platform developed by Darwin Harvesting Group.
Throughout the harvesting operations in Chile, Tevel made significant strides in the overall system performance and reliability, and selective picking to ensure the harvesting of the highest quality fruit. The fruits picked by the robots, delivered to onboard bins, were subsequently sent to Unifrutti’s packing facility for detailed data analysis, which demonstrated the system’s ability to successfully perform selective picking as well as minimize bruising.
A collection of accompanying photos can be accessed here.
Unifrutti Group is one of the main global players in the fresh fruit market, vertically integrated in production, marketing and distribution, with more than 14,000 hectares of land in Chile, the Philippines, South Africa, Italy, and Spain. The Group oversees the entire value chain and thanks to direct ownership of land located in different climate zones of the world, it is able to serve more than 50 countries all year round, distributing about 560,000 tonnes of fresh fruit to over 500 customers.
Founded in 1948 by Guido de Nadai, Unifrutti now employs more than 11,000 people at its Headquarters and operating locations in Japan, Chile, South Africa, the Philippines, Italy, Spain, Uruguay, Turkey, the Middle East, China, and India.
Unifrutti Group is part of ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of the UAE’s diversified economy.
Tevel is addressing the extreme shortage in agricultural labor through fruit-picking Flying Autonomous Robots™. Founded in 2017 by Yaniv Maor, Tevel’s flying robots are powered by state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and computer vision algorithms, enabling them to delicately pick fruit and optimize the harvesting process. These robots are agile, showcasing exceptional maneuverability, and can operate around the clock, providing cost-efficient solutions for farmers. Additionally, Tevel’s cutting-edge software allows for real-time monitoring of the orchard’s harvesting status. The data collected by our software provides farmers with unique insights into the specific characteristics and contents of each bin prior to its delivery to the packing house. This enables growers to eliminate uncertainties regarding market value, quality, and output. Through Tevel’s user-friendly software, farmers can easily access information such as the quantity of fruit harvested, its weight, color grading, ripeness, diameter, timestamp, geolocation of each fruit, and other vital data. Tevel’s headquarters are located in Israel, with branches in Italy and the United States.
Danielle Efargan Hager
Marketing & Communications Manager, Tevel
Marketing and Communications, Unifrutti Group
Marketing & Communications, Unifrutti Grou