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Fruit picking robot firm Wootzano launches in Malaysia

Image credit: Wootzano

Wootzano, a Newcastle-based startup developing crop harvesting robots, is expanding into Malaysia via a partnership with New York-listed consultancy firm VCI Global.

The partnership, valued at more than £30m, will see Wootzano’s harvest robots deployed across the landscape of Malaysia in one of the startup’s first international expansion projects.

Wootzano’s robotic farming solutions use advanced sensors, computer vision and artificial intelligence. Its flagship product is Avarai, which the company describes as the world’s first “post-harvest robotic packing system” that can delicately handle fruits and vegetables.

The Avarai robot is fitted with electronic ‘skin’ that the company calls Wootzkin. According to Wootzano, this synthetic skin gives the robot greater sensory awareness to determine the appropriate force required to pick and pack the produce.

“This partnership with VCI Global is a testament to our commitment to advancing robotics globally,” said Wootzano CEO Dr Atif Syed. “Avarai has the potential to disrupt the post-harvest industry by increasing efficiency and reduction on relying on manual methods.”

He added: “We are excited to contribute to the region’s technological evolution towards sustainable fresh produce processing.”

VCI Global is based in Kuala Lumpur and floated publicly on the Nasdaq stock exchange in April 2023. It offers consultancy services in the technology and marketing industries.