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  • Spacebot Smarts revealed at TechCrunch 2020
    The Crover robotic device (Credit: Crover)

Spacebot Smarts revealed at TechCrunch 2020

Oct 13 2020 Read 270 Times

Agricultural technology designed to reduce waste and save millions of tonnes of grain stock each year, was unveiled for the first time by Scottish start-up Crover, one of only 20 companies selected to compete at the Virtual TechCrunch Start-up Battlefield 2020, held in September.

Around 630 million tonnes of grain is lost globally during long periods of storage inside a grain store where it is very difficult to understand what is happening in terms of quality and mass. Supported by the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC UK – part of ESA Space Solutions), Crover has developed a world-first grain monitoring solution with a robot that can ‘swim’ through cereals and grains taking temperature and moisture measurements while they are still in storage; this data is then transmitted, via satellite communication, to the grain store manager.

Through the ESA BIC UK programme, Crover has also gained access to the advanced 3D printing expertise and capabilities, enabling them to identify and develop the bespoke components required for their design. 

Dr Lorenzo Conti, founder of Edinburgh-based Crover, said: “This is a significant milestone for us – to make it onto such a global stage while being in the early stages of our venture goes to prove the significance of our technology and business model. We wouldn’t have made it far though (and possibly never got started) without the amazing support of organisations like ESA BIC UK and UKATC.  The opportunity to locate our business at the Higgs Centre for Innovation, and gaining access to the state-of-the art facilities across STFC, and particularly at Daresbury Laboratory, is a fantastic benefit of being part of the ESA BIC UK. The opportunity to work alongside astronomers, engineers, as well as 3D printing and prototyping experts has been invaluable to our business and our mission to invent something that could help change the world for the better.”

Part of ESA Space Solutions and a growing network of ESA BICs across Europe, the ESA BIC UK  incorporates the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, Sci-Tech Daresbury in the North West, the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and the new Space Park Leicester, due to open in 2021.

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