Japan-based Agtech Startup inaho Establishes European Subsidiary in the Netherlands
Agrifood innovator unveils tomato harvesting robot for sustainable farming
The Japan-based agrifood technology startup inaho has established a European subsidiary in the Netherlands and has unveiled its latest product: a tomato harvesting robot. From its new base in Holland, an agrifood powerhouse, the agtech innovator aims to address the challenges facing European farmers.
inaho’s operations in the Netherlands commenced on April 1, 2021. inaho’s mission is to make agriculture more sustainable through robot automation solutions. Through robotization, inaho aims to contribute to labor savings and efficiency improvement in agriculture in Europe and other regions.
AI driven automation technology for agrifood
inaho’s newest product is a fully automatic harvesting robot for snack tomatoes (see video below). Using AI, the robot recognizes ripe fruits based on color and size. It can operate for up to 12 hours on a single charge and can be used 24-7.
inaho started developing their tomato harvesting robot in 2020. Four robots have already been manufactured and marketed; they are currently in operation and are collecting feedback from several leading growers in Japan for further improvements.
Innovation for sustainable agriculture solutions
Sohya Ohyama, co-founder and COO of inaho, explained: ‘Farms and producers in several countries are facing labor shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the global pandemic, rising wages for farm workers are also becoming a growing problem for companies in agriculture. These challenges could ultimately lead to food shortages in the years to come.’
‘Now is the time to introduce automation technologies and move away from existing farming methods,’ Ohyama said.
Partnerships for the future of food
‘We are convinced that our breakthrough technologies and solutions will contribute to the well-being of all persons in the agricultural sector and lead to the achievement of sustainable agriculture in the future,’ Ohyama said. ‘To make this possible, we are looking for partners who can expand on these values together: growers, seed companies and facility companies in the EU.’
Inaho was founded in 2017 by Yutaka Hishiki and Sohya Ohyama. It launched an AI-equipped asparagus harvesting robot in 2019 and operates according to the Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) business model. The company won the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries prize in the 9th ROBOT PRIZE awarded by the Japanese government. Inaho not only supplies robotic solutions, but also develops new cultivation systems and operating schemes together with partners to make agriculture more sustainable.
Source: inaho12 April 2021