Small Robot Company says its mission is to maximise food production while reducing its cost on the environment. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, it has created an entirely new model for ecologically harmonious, efficient and profitable farming. Its farmbots Tom, Dick and Harry will plant, monitor and treat arable crops autonomously, with minimal waste.
The funding secured will finance Small Robot Company’s non-chemical weed zapping robot to field trials, and the manufacture of a fleet of monitoring robots for its commercial weed mapping service.
"We hit half a million pounds within minutes. This landslide success demonstrates the huge appetite for ag[ri]tech - and the demand from farmers. This completely ignited our fundraising,” said Sam Watson-Jones, co-founder, Small Robot Company. “It’s inspiring to see how much support there is for innovation in agriculture. It feels like the time is right for these technologies to start making a difference.”
“It's also closely aligned with the new Agricultural Bill: our technology is at the heart of these systemic changes in farming. Now is the time for us to work together to create a more sustainable farming model: and for farmers - rightly - to be rewarded for their efforts. The recent huge advances in ag[ri]tech finally make this possible: and farmers are integral to the environmental solution.”
Ben Scott-Robinson, co-founder, Small Robot Company, added, “Since our last raise, we have achieved our major delivery milestone of moving from proof of concept to commercially-ready prototype. This next raise will help us to begin manufacturing our robots, as well as delivering our weed zapping technology. Our campaign is now overfunding to reach our stretch target, looking to raise additional funds to accelerate our development.”
Small Robot Company has secured more than £2.5 million in funding to date, including £1.2 million from its previous Crowdcube raise, and more than £1million in government Innovate UK grants. This includes an £800,000 grant for its ‘Wilma’ artificial intelligence weed recognition and ‘Tom’ weed mapping technology. This was one of the largest single agritech grants made under Innovate UK’s innovation scheme in 2018.