Labour shortages in the mushroom industry are crippling production capabilities. “The biggest problem we face today is finding labor.” – Laura Phelps, American Mushroom Institute.
Mushroom harvesting requires scaling 4 metre high shelving, long shifts in back-breaking positions, and 24 hour harvesting. An environment that is hardly conducive to human work.
Demand for fresh mushrooms is at an all-time high and continues to grow each year. Not having enough workers to harvest is devastating for many farms. Food is going to waste at a time when it’s needed most.
TechBrew has developed a fully autonomous, vision-guided mushroom harvesting robot. The robot attaches to the farm’s existing shelving so there’s no need for changes to farm infrastructure. They are transportable and can move easily between growing rooms when needed.
On the Farm
To date, two limited-scope demonstrations have been completed on two farms. Both went exceptionally well, achieving the goal of 95% successful pick rate. The next step is to harvest a 2-flush growth cycle on our partner farm. This will demonstrate complete autonomous operation of the harvesting system including thinning, stem trimming, packaging, and conveyance out of the growing room.
Leveraging the Power of AI
With the vast amount of data being collected, the robots will use AI to make smarter decisions over time. Decisions about which mushrooms to separate, which mushrooms to harvest, and when to harvest. Two AI / Machine Learning specialists have recently joined the TechBrew team to advance this part of the system.
World Mushroom Production
The US (#2 producer) and Canada (#5 producer) produce close to 500,000 tons of fresh mushrooms annually. We plan to focus on these two markets first, before expanding to Europe and eventually targeting Asia. China produces 70% of the world’s fresh mushrooms and although they do not face the same labour issues as other parts of the world, we believe they will benefit from this technology.
Most modern farms throughout the world use standardized growing shelves. This allows our technology to be deployed – with minimal customization – to farms all over the world. From Canada to China, our robots can retrofit to your farm and get right to work!
Transform the way you farm.
Let’s partner together to realize your vision for the next evolution of farming.
Take full control of your farm and put that valuable data to work.