Crover’s robot swims in grain silos to monitor environmental conditions – ProWellTech
Crover’s The robotic platform isn’t the sexiest or the most exciting, particularly for a startup that started its life with space travel in its sights. But the real future of robotics and automation lies in the boring, dirty and dangerous tasks for employers to find human workers to do. Monitoring of grain silos, at least, qualifies for the first part.
Today at Disrupt, the Edinburgh, Scotland-based company unveiled its robotic solution. It is a small American football-shaped robot designed essentially to swim inside a grain silo to give farmers a better view of environmental conditions. Temperature and humidity can have a profound impact on grain storage, and incorrect environmental conditions can lead farmers to destroy significant portions of crop storage.
The Crover robot is designed to offer a much more comprehensive and focused analysis of grain storage than traditional static methods. The robot lives inside the silo and dives into its contents when it’s time to offer analytics. All of this information is fed into a dashboard, giving farmers a more complete picture of what is happening inside.
Future versions of the robot will be designed to potentially help address some of these problems, but for now, at least, it is up to the silo owner to take care of the environmental problems when the robot has identified them.
The robot will be offered through a Hardware as a Service subscription model, which will manage farmers around £ 3,000 (just under $ 4,000) per robot per year. The price includes the hardware and software solution. It sounds expensive, especially for a system that requires a grain silo robot, but Crover says losing grain can often cost batches of around £ 24,000 ($ 32,000) per year.
Crover is still a rather small team, with six full-time and one part-time employees, but the company is ready to start growing after two years. So far, its funds have mostly come from grants and bootstraps. Even so, it currently has two robots being tested at sites in the UK (Scotland and England) and a fair amount of interest from other locations in Europe, including Spain and Italy.
The company is currently shooting for a product launch in May next year.