Meet Carry, the Robot That Aims to Make Picking Produce Easier for Small Farms

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Meet Carry, the Robot That Aims to Make Picking Produce Easier for Small Farms

Robots could soon take on the tasks of farmworkers harvesting the nation's food.

Santa Monica-based Future Acres, an agriculture tech startup, unveiled its first prototype on Tuesday — a robot named Carry that helps farmers transport crops.

Carry won't replace human employees that pick crops. Rather, the remote-operated machine will follow workers and take what they collect back to a sorting facility, speeding up operations in a labor-intensive industry. Since 2017, the team has been quietly busy testing the AI-powered machine that can transport up to 500 pounds of produce in virtually any weather condition.


The model unveiled Tuesday is a beta version of the robot. A spokesperson said a Carry 2.0 will launch in the next couple months for commercial purchase. It's designed for small- to medium-sized farms across the country.

The news comes as the company launches a crowdfunding campaign for $3 million. It's already backed by Wavemaker Partners, a Los Angeles firm that also operates the robots and automation-centered venture studio Wavemaker Labs.

Future AcresFuture Acres designed their new robot, Carry, to lug boxes of produce from the fields to the sorting departments.

The Food And Agricultural Policy Research Institute estimates farm income will drop 12% in 2021 while product costs climb - largely due to the cost of labor. California is the nation's largest produce producer and relies heavily on immigrant labor. Any large-scale introduction of robots on farms could change big agriculture, much in the same way robots altered car factories.

The company says adding just one robot can increase efficiency by 30%. And it pays itself off in just 80 days.

As the agricultural industry battles financial and environmental challenges, CEO Suma Reddy says her tech will ease the physical loads that slow down many farmers. "Back pain, twisted ankles and shoulder injuries no longer need to be the normal," Reddy said in a statement.

The robotics startup also says down the line it'll turn to other tech-driven solutions to measure pesticide use and crop health and track trends like food waste.

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Rise Together Ventures’ Taylor Adams On Revolutionizing The Philanthropic World

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Rise Together Ventures’ Taylor Adams On Revolutionizing The Philanthropic World
Taylor Adams

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Mullen Automotive Increases Authorized Common Stock From 1.75 Billion Shares to 5 Billion

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Mullen Automotive Increases Authorized Common Stock From 1.75 Billion Shares to 5 Billion
Photo by Ringo Chiu/ Shutterstock

In a virtual stockholder meeting today, EV hopeful Mullen Automotive announced that shareholders had approved a proposal to increase authorized common stock from 1.75 billion total shares up to 5 billion total shares.

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