Tech team Robin, Nemo & Susant with next generation weed mapping robot Tom
Tech team (L-R); Robin, Nemo & Susan, with next generation weed mapping robot Tom.
Chloe Shakesby

Fleet of farming robots to be produced in Northumberland

A British agritech start-up has announced that its first fleet of robots in the country will be produced in Northumberland.

Small Robot Company (SRC), which focuses on sustainable farming, today announced that its initial fleet of 10 robots will be manufactured by Tharsus, a Blyth-based advanced machine and robots designer and manufacturer.

Tharsus will be producing the ‘Tom’ monitoring robot prototype design for eventual mass production, working together with SRC on a rigorous industrial design process.

The ‘Tom’ robot will deliver SRC’s first commercial service for weed mapping. Customers signed up to use the new robots include Waitrose & Partners and the National Trust.

The first of the fleet will be ready for commercial service in October 2020.

John Toal, director of business development of Tharsus, commented: “Small Robot Company is an archetype of a radical disruptor.

“They are changing the face of an industry that is experiencing significant economic and environmental challenges – by proposing to do things differently. Significantly so.

“Our engagement melds together their vision, ambition and inventiveness with our own experience of creating commercially successful products.”

Sam Watson-Jones, co-founder of SRC, added: “The global opportunity is huge. This is a fourth agricultural revolution, and British technology is leading the charge.

“We’re currently first to market, so it’s absolutely crucial that we get our commercial delivery right.”

“This is a massive step in scaling up our robots for the mass market. Our focus for our robotics business is very much on design and innovation - and service.

“Manufacturing with Tharsus gives us the confidence to deliver robust, resilient and farm-ready products, time and again and in thousands of units. They have the expertise we needed to get our commercialisation right.”

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