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'Harvey' the Harvesting Robot
By: Emory Brown
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Agriculture has always been an industry known for painstaking work and long hours. These very qualities have turned generations away from even considering doing work as farmers after they've received their educations. Even though there have been considerable breakthroughs in technology in the agricultural industry, there is still work that takes manual labor, and one of those jobs is potting and re-potting plants, then reorganizing the nurseries in which they grow. In most cases people are paid very low wages and quickly shy away from these jobs. This leaves the door wide open for the innovators at “Harvest Automation” to plant the seed for America’s agricultural future with the invention of the “Harvest Vehicle HV-100” a.k.a “Harvey.”
Harvey's job is to move potted trees and shrubs in plant nurseries. These plants are bunched closely together in winter, spaced wider in summer, and rearranged as they get bigger. Why would any nursery need a robot to do it? Hire a plant expert like yourself or just call your 15-year-old son and make him earn his keep. Yeah, that may have been the solution decades ago, but at the price point of two cents for every pot you move it becomes very medieval work in a matter of seconds. You have to move 200 pots to make four bucks. Can someone call the labor union? Plus, each pot needs to be moved at least five times. Generation X & Y aren’t hearing this! Hence the need for a new-age worker in the nursery: Harvey.  

“Harvey” is battery-powered with grippers to move any pots of up to about 10kg. He works safely alongside humans, unlike industrial robots, which have to be fenced off to prevent accidents. And this little robot makes the “Energizer Bunny” look like a chump because when finished arranging his plants he looks for another one until he finds it. He may even try to pick a gardener or two while in pursuit of his goal. Nevertheless, he doesn’t complain about the weather or the wages…he’s able to work day, night, rain, or shine. Plus, you can buy a crew of Harveys and they can work together cooperatively without botching up the day’s work. With a price tag of about $30,000, Harvey will definitely be harvesting the future in America.

Harvest Automation has taken a great position in an industry that is known for cheap labor and turned it a profit center; this is classic product development and marketing at its best. They are turning robots into world-class change catalysts that will soon be household names like Maytag and Sony. When that happens, Harvest Automation will be reaping the rewards of planting their seeds in the fertile ground of innovation.


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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