NGen invests $4.2M in robotic mushroom harvesting system
July 7, 2021 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
A robotics project led by Mycionics to automate mushroom harvesting will receive nearly $4.2 million in funding by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen).
Mycionics, in partnership with Whitecrest Mushrooms and Piccioni Brothers Mushroom Farm, will deploy and demonstrate the commercial viability of the Mycionics robotic harvesting system.
The entire harvesting process will be optimized through the application of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Mycionics will be the first company in the world to successfully automate the end-to-end mushroom harvesting process for the fresh market.
As a complete system, Mycionics robotic harvester will increase the yield of a growing room through a “smart graze harvesting” strategy, picking over a 24-hour period and allowing the system to pick each mushroom at the optimal time instead of being restricted to harvesting only during normal working hours. Additionally, the ability to harvest robotically and the use of data analytics will increase food safety, traceability and disease detection.
Based on the farmer’s harvesting requirements, such as desired mushroom sizes, stem length, quality and harvesting schedule, the Mycionics mobile robotic harvester scans the mushroom beds, picks the desired mushrooms, trims the stems, and intelligently packs the mushrooms into boxes where they can be retrieved by the farm operators.
“The Mycionics project brings together multiple partners from different sectors of the economy to develop and build a world-class advanced manufacturing solution,” says Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen, the industry-led organization facilitating Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster.
“In the process, Mycionics will create jobs, establish a Canadian supply chain for machine parts and assembly, help build out the entire advanced manufacturing ecosystem, and have a lasting and positive impact on Canadians and the economy.”
NGen is investing $192 million in supercluster funding and is aiming to leverage at least another $358 million of industry investments in collaborative industry-led projects before the end of March 2023 to facilitate collaboration and accelerate the implementation, scale-up and commercialization of advanced technologies for manufacturing in Canada.