Leaf-Cutting Autonomous Robot Can Operate 24/7, Promises Over 85 Percent Accuracy

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Dutch company Priva aims to revolutionize horticulture with this ultimate tomato de-leafing machine. Its new creation, Kompano, is touted as the first robot on the market to safely and independently work in greenhouses alongside employees.

Kompano was designed to cut the leaves of tomatoes in greenhouses and is a battery-powered robot that can operate on a 24/7 basis. It packs a 5-kWh battery, it weighs almost 937 lb (425 kg) and it measures 6.2 ft (191 cm) in length, 2.8 ft (88 cm) in width, and 5.9 ft (180 cm) in height. Kompano has an arm extension of 4.1 ft (125 cm).

According to Priva, the patented end-effector and smart algorithms of the robot guarantee effectiveness of over 85 percent at a weekly range of 1 hectare.

Developed in collaboration with MTA, Dutch growers, as well as experts and tech partners, Kompano comes with dedicated software which is intuitive and allows users to easily manage the workforce, planning the workload, scheduling, setting up, and adjusting and the robot according to their needs and preferences. The software is accessible via web, Android and iOS devices.

Priva claims its autonomous robot is an inspired solution to the aggravating shortage of skilled personnel and the global increase in food demand. The user-friendly and efficient machine is also an economically viable alternative to manually de-leafing tomato crops, keeping costs at the same level and even reducing them in some cases.

Kompano was introduced at the end of September at the GreenTech event and is now ready for use in the market. It has already been successfully tested in several greenhouses in the Netherlands. A series of 50 robots are in production and the Kompano leaf cutter is available for purchase on the Priva website, although there is no information regarding the price of the machine.

The Dutch company claims it plans to expand its Kompano line over time, developing leaf-cutting robots that also work for cucumbers and making the machines also suitable for harvesting, in addition to de-leafing.