Advanced Intelligent Systems (AIS), a custom robotics company creating autonomous robotic solutions to solve labour shortage problems in agriculture, will demonstrate their flagship autonomous custom robot, called BigTop, at Cultivate’19, July 13-16 in Columbus, Ohio.
“We are very excited to demonstrate BigTop at Cultivate and showcase our unique autonomous robot to the leaders of the industry. AIS has an affordable robotic solution to automate labor-intensive tasks involved in the moving and spacing of plant pots within nurseries and greenhouses,” says Afshin Doust, CEO of AIS.
The need for labor in the horticulture industry has been steadily climbing, however, the industry is facing a severe labor shortage. Finding workers to perform the repetitive and labor-intensive tasks necessary in nurseries and greenhouses in the horticulture industry is extremely challenging, and those workers employed in this work can often experience repetitive stress injuries. AIS’ autonomous robot – with customizable software – provides an affordable solution.
BigTop is currently in operation at one of Canada’s most reputable nursery operations: Van Belle Nurseries. Van Belle grows more than 400 varieties of plants on 100 acres located in Abbotsford, British Columbia. It is one of the largest nurseries growing plants for distribution across North America.
BigTop solves the repetitive and laborious task of moving and spacing pots of different sizes and weights in greenhouses and nurseries. BigTop can move up to nine plant pots at a time and then places the plants securely on its rotating robotic platform base. The autonomous mobile robots’ arms then space the plants in a pre-programmed pattern (square or hex). Using algorithms, BigTop is also able to identify potted plants of various shapes and move them for optimal growth. This ability to identify, lift and move plants to their ideal position provides significant value to the horticultural industry.
BigTop is able to navigate and operate in both indoor and outdoor environments. With an operating battery capacity well beyond a work shift, BigTop increases efficiency and productivity in the horticultural industry.
At Cultivate’19, AIS will be offering demonstrations of their BigTop autonomous robot at the Agrinomix Booth #2047 as well as demonstrating another prototype for the first time: the “pruner” that can trim plants with its “unique arm” that expands BigTop’s features.