Last Tuesday, intellectual property commercialisation company Frontier IP announced that its portfolio company, Fieldwork Robotics, has raised £0.298 mln through an initial equity funding round. The firm said Fieldwork would use the proceeds to accelerate the development and scale-up of its novel robotics technology for harvesting soft fruit and vegetables.
A prototype raspberry-picking robot successfully completed two field trials last year in collaboration with Hall Hunter Partnership - one of the UK's leading soft fruit growers. As part of the fundraising, Frontier IP converted a loan of £48,000 into equity, with £0.25 mln being raised from new investors.
The company was initially focused on developing robots to harvest raspberries, with Frontier IP describing them as being more delicate, more easily damaged than other soft fruits, and growing on bushes with complex foliage and berry distribution. Fieldwork, together with the University of Plymouth, was also developing proof-of-concept robots for other crops following interest from leading agribusinesses.