Kubota Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co Ltd have invested in Advanced Farm Technologies (AFT), a Californian-based start-up that has developed a robotic strawberry harvester.

Called the TX, the unmanned electrically-powered vehicle uses image recognition technology and artificial intelligence to instantly distinguish ripe strawberries. These are picked by grippers at the end of the robot arms. Claimed benefits include the reduction in manual labour and increased efficiency.

Working together, Kubota and Yamaha Motor plan to accelerate technological development and business expansion aimed at implementing automated farming solutions from AFT for both field crops and top fruit.