Birmingham, England.

Fox Robotics logistics solution across the soft fruit and vineyard industry. 

The agricultural industry heavily depends on seasonal labour from Eastern Europe. A steady decrease can be seen, triggering several solutions with automation and robotics. Farmers now must search and depend on labour from countries further East, increasing their already high costs.

Fox Robotics has focused on decreasing the dependence on seasonal workers by improving and automating logistics tasks that other robotics companies have overlooked in the horticulture industry. Fox Robotics is currently concentrating on improving the efficiency of the UK’s soft fruit farms and vineyards.Hugo RT(TM) is a durable, efficient, battery-powered robot designed to reduce the reliability of seasonal labour. The outdoor logistics robot helps to automate, helps to automate several all-year-round tasks, from supporting the transportation of picked produce to carrying delicate seedlings and soil in narrow polytunnels. Transporting picked fruit during the harvest season makes up 20% of the day-to-day activities. Automating these tasks will help to reduce overall costs and increases productivity.

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The first UK based company to create an autonomous mobile logistics robot and solution that tackles the labour challenges at soft fruit farmsFounded in 2017, Fox Robotics Limited was the brain child of Henry Acevedo, who had the idea of increasing efficiency in warehouses and 3 PLs (Third Party Logistics) using an autonomous robot that could not only find the best route when delivering items around the warehouse but could also follow workers as a self-driving cart.Fox Robotics saw the opportunity to adapt its technology and apply it to the horticulture and agriculture industries, and there began the development of Hugo RT™. Fox Robotics understands the needs and challenges that come from the operations of soft fruit farms and has developed this logistics Autonomous Mobile Robot specialised for agriculture. Hugo RT™ – with RT standing for Rough Terrain, is designed to safely assist human pickers in the field, as well as farmers and managers all year round in and out of season with a durable, efficient and sustainable robot solution designed to maximise picker productivity.The company is based in Surrey and has now partnered with Lutton farms and other farms across the UK, to who have helped to provide extensive real-life data and support to train Hugo RT™.The robot supports pickers by transporting empty trays to them, collecting picked produce from pickers, and delivering it to any collection point. The autonomous fully electric robot will be used by farmers as an alternative to fuel powered machinery, to transport any type of load. It is ideal for outdoor, polytunnel use and in all types of weather to improve productivity and efficiency.Fox Robotics will be supporting other areas in horticulture in the foreseeable future.