Edinburgh-based business takes ‘Grain Swimming Robot’ automation to next level

30/10/2023
Crover Engineers testing at S5GCs Forth Valley hub

AN Edinburgh-based business has been awarded £50,000 in funding to further its study of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions.  

Crover, a deep-tech robotics and agri-tech organisation, has successfully secured Innovate UK funding to progress their study of remote autonomous operations of a grain-swimming robot.  

Crover’s unique robotic grain storage management solution provides a new way to improve and automate monitoring and management activities. The robot can be deployed in grain sheds and silos to give farmers and grain storage operators accurate insights into the conditions of their crops. 

The new funding will support Crover in making its system ‘smarter’ by enhancing its autonomous operating capabilities, using AI solutions, and improving the efficiency of data transmission, including through 5G protocols, to provide even more insight to grain handlers.  

By ‘swimming’ through grain, the CROVER robot provides in-situ stirring of the grain, which helps maintain its quality, as well as improving the health and safety of grain storage operations. 

The robot will also help grain storage operators reduce losses and maintain optimum storage conditions, creating a platform that can be integrated into existing monitoring systems, improving their efficacy substantially, or substitute them completely. Without the CROVER robot, post-harvest losses during storage can be anywhere between 2%-10% each year. 

Both The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) and CeeD supported Crover with their latest Innovate UK funding bid with the next stage of testing being conducted within S5GC’s Forth Valley innovation hub this month. Crover will make use of the expertise of the S5GC team and its facilities to enhance the automation capabilities of the system, also through the optimisation of the data transfer. 

Lorenzo Conti, Founder and Managing Director, Crover said: “We are delighted about the support, helping us take our mission of ‘enabling humanity to reach below the surface’ further, and we look forward to the new collaboration with The Scotland 5G Centre and CeeD. Automation will no doubt benefit grain storage operators hugely, however, without a mechanism to report learnings and captured by the CROVER robot, all this effort is wasted. Being able to test the system in an environment like the S5GC has within its innovation hubs is invaluable and will be of huge benefit to myself and the team.” 

Tom Marchbanks, Business Engagement Manager for Forth Valley, The Scotland 5G Centre said: “It has been great to support Lorenzo and his team with their successful bid for Innovate UK funding. The value that 5G technologies can provide organisations of any shape, size and sector knows no bounds. It is our mission to support innovative SME’s that are passionate about futureproofing their operations to bring their ideas to life. A connected world relies on innovation, collaboration and open mindedness so it’s fantastic to see Scottish businesses, like Crover, paving the way.” 

Joe Pacitti, Managing Director, CeeD said: “CeeD is really pleased to be able to help many of our members around a range of support activities and connections. Where Crover is concerned, helping the business through signposting for partners previously and in this case directing them to funding partners and seeing a successful outcome is really great news. Helping early stage companies to find both funding mechanisms and industry partners (consortia) is an area we at CeeD are increasingly helping members to navigate their way through.”  

Crover Founder and Managing Director Lorenzo Conti recently joined Scotland’s National Robotarium, where Crover is based, which will provide the company access to state-of-the-art development facilities and to the wider industrial, academic, and investment robotic ecosystem which will support its ambitious growth plans. 

The S5GC and CeeD established a partnership three years ago, allowing both organisations to connect with new audiences, raise awareness of the benefits of advanced technology to businesses and to build a two-way communication stream to explore and address business challenges. 

Over the past three years, S5GC and CeeD have hosted a number of joint events, including on the role which 5G and data connectivity plays in reducing carbon emissions.  

More information on Crover is available here: https://www.crover.tech/.  

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