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Root AI raises $7.2M seed round to deploy its harvesting robot amid COVID-19-fueled demand

There are, of course, a number of different robots focused on produce picking. It’s one of those jobs with a shortage of workers and a high turnover rate. What sets the company’s Virgo robot apart from the pack, however, is its ability to adapt. Most robotics are focused on a single type of produce, but Virgo’s dexterity and soft grippers are designed to work with different plants.

“The first commercial units will focus on tomato harvesting,” CEO Josh Lessing tells TechCrunch, “with future software updates planned to unlock new crops.” The robots are already out in the real world — albeit in extremely limited quantities. There are currently two units deployed in California fields, with plans for additional robots arriving in the U.S. and Canada later this year, in order to keep up with increased demand from COVID-19.