Traptic raised $8.4 million to produce the Traptic strawberry picker.

3D Cameras with AI Vision Enable Robotic Arms to Pick Delicate Crops

Picking vegetables and fruits can be nerve-racking at times. You shouldn’t pull too hard, you shouldn’t pull too softly. You have to have the touch of a farmworker.

Traptic is raising and spending millions of dollars of investments to take strawberries off of the plants and put them onto our menus. first covered Traptic back in 2019, when it appeared as a Battlefield finalist onstage at Disrupt SF. Today, the South Bay robotics startup is announcing some major progress. For starters, it began commercial deployment of its strawberry-picking mobile robot early this month.

Traptic tells TechCrunch that Blazer-Wilkinson, a top-five U.S. strawberry producer, began to deploy the technology in June, the system working in tandem with human pickers. That follows a pilot in 2020 when many agriculture companies were seeking assistance amid pandemic-related shortages.

Traptic used side by side with farmworkers to reduce waste

“As record heat waves force farmworkers indoors and stifle harvests this week, Traptic’s mission has become more timely than ever,” Collaborative Fund’s Craig Shapiro said in comment offered to TechCrunch. “The launch of their robotic strawberry picker in commercial fields is a big step forward for the $10 billion strawberry market, and a peek into the future of agricultural production more broadly. Collaborative is proud to get behind a technology that can heighten crop security while creating safer jobs across the food supply chain, and we’re confident that Traptic is the right team to see that vision through.”

As they say, build a better berry picker and the world will beat a path to your doorway. Or maybe that was a mousetrap.