Kind Technologies’ daughter companies Crux Agribotics and KOAT will further join forces to develop high-end Robotics for end-to-end harvesting, sorting, and the packing of fruits and vegetables.
Crux Agribotics was one of the first companies to demonstrate a fully autonomous harvesting robot identifying, grading, and harvesting cucumbers in a real greenhouse environment. The company, which specializes in robotics, computer vision, and data & AI, has since then developed and introduced the SortiPack robots for automated grading, sorting, and packing. To realize its ambitious goals within the fresh produce and horticulture industry, its mother company, AgTech group Kind Technologies, acquired KOAT (NL) in 2019.
Combined forces with complementing competencies
Crux Agribotics intends to further scale its business and leverage its momentum in the market. Its ambition is to automate the complete process from crop harvest to packed product with its Computer Vision and AI-guided Robotics. To address the full potential of that strategy, KOAT’s focus will shift in line with and in the function of this group’s ambition. KOAT’s resources in engineering and R&D will be allocated to developing and expanding its product portfolio for end-to-end automated and robotic lines for harvesting, sorting, and packing.
‘We see enormous opportunity and potential for integrated (robotic) handling of fruits and vegetables world-wide’, says Richard Vialle, CCO & Co-Founder of Kind Technologies. ‘A growing population and declining availability of resources require a different approach. During COVID-19, we have seen that relying on human labor is not a resilient strategy. Automation and technology will be the key enabler to address resource and labor scarcity whilst reducing risk and optimizing yields and returns’.
Strategic alignment to create focus and priority
The new strategy also implies that KOAT will discontinue activities which are not regarded to be core for the future anymore. This includes the development and sales of standalone internal logistics projects instead of complete automated sorting and packing lines. ‘We believe that focusing on complete lines end-to-end enables us to differentiate and to add real value for our customers. Within such projects, we have unique IP to offer with the combined strengths and capabilities of Crux Agribotics and KOAT’, says Alex E. Kind, CEO and Co-Founder of Kind Technologies.
The KOAT product portfolio and future developments will be driven by and in function of the growing Crux Agribotics business. Its installed base will be continued to be serviced by the organization. For future projects or expansions, Crux Agribotics and KOAT will also work with existing and new partners to offer customers the solutions and continuity they need. The KOAT brand, entities, and external agreements will remain in place.
In addition to aligning its portfolio for packing centers, the companies intend to accelerate the development of the Crux Agribotics robotic harvesting technology.
Move to one new head office
To facilitate this new strategy and focus, both companies will move to a new office in Eindhoven in the third quarter of the year. With all teams working out of the same office, learning from each other and leveraging synergy between all disciplines becomes much easier.
The new modern building is a representative and inspiring workspace. Also, it is fully sustainable in line with Kind Technologies’ purpose, ‘Be Kind to the World’. It offers colleagues and visitors a pleasant work environment with extra facilities such as a restaurant, gym, and different areas to collaborate, meet and relax.