Lawyers support angel investment for fruit-picking robots

Backing a move to take the back-ache out of strawberry picking across the UK, Inger Anson, partner with Harrison Clark Rickerbys, has helped Cambridgeshire technology company Dogtooth Technologies to secure a fundraise of in the region of £200,000 to develop a robotic harvesting machine.
The first phase of the project will see 10 harvesting robots manufactured and offered to UK growers, in an initial trial.
The company will use the funding from angel investors to develop the technology so that a supervisor can manage teams of robots which will navigate rows of strawberries, detect and locate ripe fruit and then pick and check the strawberries before putting them in punnets.
The new approach should mean that the strawberry harvest across the country becomes more predictable and easier for growers to manage. It has also been supported by the Eastern Agri-Tech initiative in East Anglia, combining local councils and the area’s enterprise partnership.
Ed Herbert, founder of Dogtooth Technologies, said: “The project is crucial in developing a cornerstone of our scalable strawberry harvesting system.”
Inger Anson said: “This project could have a major impact on the cost and controllability of harvesting for growers all over the country – I am delighted that we could help Dogtooth to secure the funding they needed to develop it, and look forward to seeing it roll out in the future.”
Harrison Clark Rickerbys has 400 staff and partners based at offices in Worcester, Hereford, the Wye Valley, Cheltenham, Birmingham and the Thames Valley, who provide a complete spectrum of legal services to both business and private clients, regionally and nationwide. The firm also has a number of highly successful teams specialising in individual market sectors, including health and social care, education, agricultural and rural affairs, defence, security and the forces, advanced manufacturing and construction.