Earth Automations was born in 2017, in the southern region of Calabria in Italy – specifically Cosenza. The 3 founders, Enrico, Fausto and Luigi, decided to found Earth Automations after having run their own farms, and understanding the current struggles that farmers face. With Earth Automations, they created an autonomous robot platform by the name of Dood, to which different implements can be attached to, and thanks to AI and computer vision, it can perform all the tasks autonomously on the farm, which in turn would help farmers save 1/3rd of their labor costs.
This year the company will also be focusing on other industries such as manufacturing, logistics, mining and construction.
Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?
Earth Automations: We create robots, both on demand for different fields and tasks, and robotic platforms that can be paired up with different equipment to perform heavy duty tasks in farms, construction sites, mines, and logistic sites (both indoor and outdoor). The robot is hybrid and can be fully electric, has a power of up to 100 HP equivalent, and can navigate with AI and computer vision, therefore not relying solely on GNSS. With this Computer vision, the robot is also able to analyze visual data around him, in the case of farming it can detect diseases and pests, analyze the crops and much more. In other industries, the robot can help with worker safety, detect different materials and much more.
E.E: What’s the news about new products?
Earth Automations: In 2023 we are finally producing a new version of our robot – hybrid and electric, much more powerful and with a new look – fit for other industries, not just farming. We are open for pre-orders to pilot our solution in the different industries around Europe and the US.
E.E: What are the ranges of products?
Earth Automations: Our main product is the autonomous robot platform for heavy duty. We also produce autonomous lawn mowers, for different other applications. We also make robots on demand, for different customers, specifically for their needs.
E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?
Earth Automations: The market is at a stage of early adopters, in the specific case of farmers. They are currently using autonomous solutions, but it is not widespread, as tractors are still the most prevalent way of working on fields. Farmers are increasingly adopting these technologies, because of the many current problems with labor and worker safety, but there is still a long way to go – from finding the right pricing for farmers, to bettering the technology of robots for them to be more user friendly and easy to manage and maintain. In other fields, especially in manufacturing, there is a wider adoption of process automation for specific tasks, as this is the easiest to automate.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
Earth Automations: The market trends for autonomous solutions are growing very fast, but not at the same rate in all the different fields we operate in. In the farming industry, especially in the United States, farmers are much faster in adopting new technologies, including autonomous robots for mundane tasks on farms. This is mainly because of the high labor costs as well as shortages, especially with the new immigration laws. According to Markets and Markets, the autonomous robots for agriculture market is going to reach 12 Billion USD in 2026. This number is expected to grow as industries seek to improve efficiency, reduce costs and improve safety. Generally for autonomous robot platforms, the market is even bigger and is expected to reach 52.6 billion $ in 2032.
The improvements in technology, like the different sensors, AI and increased functionality will further increase the demand for these types of robots. As these areas improve, it is more likely businesses will adopt this technology for their activities.
E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?
Earth Automations: Our most innovative product is the Dood robot, that can fit in between rows of vines, but at the same time can handle very heavy duty tasks, even with its relatively “small” size. He can understand what would be the most efficient path to take, thanks to its advanced computer vision and AI. It memorizes the path it needs to take as well with 3D mapping, so he doesn’t necessarily need GNSS to function, which makes him best for areas with a not so good connection.
E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?
Earth Automations: For our company, we plan to deploy the new version of our robots we have produced this year, in the space of agriculture, construction and logistics, in the form of pilot projects together with different customers. We expect that in 2023, more players will come on the market, and specifically farmers will be more open to trying these solutions. For example at the FIRA 2023 event (biggest robotics in agriculture event), it was the event with the most attendance from when they started organizing them, with a lot of farmers and robotics producers attending.
We predict that there will also be more demand in the logistics field, especially in heavy logistics, and the different players will be more competitive price wise, than before.
As autonomous robots become more widespread, there will be a growing focus on safety and regulations. Although these robots are designed specifically to enhance safety in working environments, still this is a very important topic that governments will start paying even more attention to, and are developing different standards and regulations that producers must respect.
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