We have successfully developed a prototype robotic harvester for green asparagus, which we call “Sprout”.
For the past year, we have been working closely with major asparagus grower Cobrey Farms in Herefordshire, testing and developing Sprout on-farm.
Farms like Cobrey require a high volume of seasonal workers for a variety of tasks, primarily for weeding and harvesting. Asparagus is one of the most labour intensive crops as harvesting occurs daily throughout the 12 week season. While other companies have largely ignored asparagus, because by itself it is a relatively small volume crop, we believe that starting with the crop most suited to robotic harvesting is best, before iterating to develop harvesters for more challenging crops.
Sprout uses the latest in deep learning technology to detect and delicately pick asparagus spears according to growers' specifications. The robot is lightweight and fully electric, avoiding damaging soil compaction and enabling a green, sustainable and resilient future for UK horticulture.
Founded by Florian Richter and Christopher Chavasse in June 2021 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and the urgent request from growers to find a solution to their labour supply challenges, Muddy Machines is now seeking additional funding to bring an initial batch of robots to market in 2022.
Muddy Machines is backed by Britbots, Robotic Ventures, Entrepreneur First, and a number of fantastic business angels having won several Innovate UK grants and accelerator programs.