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IUNU uses robots to keep an eye on greenhouse crops – TechCrunch

I won’t lie IUNU (pronounced “you knew”) isn’t the easiest of names (further confusing is the presence of a robot named “LUNA”). But the agtech firm is involved in a solid deal and just received a nice vote of confidence in a Series B round. According to today’s news, the Seattle-based company, led by Lewis & Clark Ventures, has secured $24 million in funding, and S2G Ventures, Ceres Partners and Astanor Ventures are returning for more.

Instead of operating in the field or in vertical farming, the company targets the world of greenhouses. His LUNA robotic system moves along the roof of a greenhouse, using computer vision to inspect the plants. The system can identify problem areas and spots ready to harvest, so farmers don’t have to walk up and down – something that becomes a problem as farms get larger.

These are the sort of systems we’ve seen commonly for more traditional farms as part of a larger autonomous robot. Greenhouses certainly make sense for the tech, as they effectively allow it to move back and forth on a track.

IUNU says it currently works with a quarter of greenhouse leafy greens growers in the US. The company currently employs 60, a 50% increase in headcount over the past six months. This round will serve to expand its global footprint and increase R&D for new products.

“This investment round reflects the confidence that institutional investors have in us,” said CEO Adam Greenberg in a press release. “The conversation about autonomous growing has accelerated over the past year, and we’re proud to be a leader on this front.

As always, data is the big game here, and iUNU claims that it currently has the “largest production dataset in the industry” based on the existing deployment. A large cache like this is important for creating algorithms that can help identify potential problems before they become big problems for a particular crop.

In September, the company acquired our 2015 Startup Battlefield winner Artemis (née Agrilyst) to strengthen its data collection capabilities.

IUNU uses robots to keep an eye on greenhouse crops – TechCrunch Source link IUNU uses robots to keep an eye on greenhouse crops – TechCrunch

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