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There are studies of serious layoffs at Iron Ox, an agriculture expertise firm that makes use of robotics to customise look after crops. Many now-former workers have posted on social media concerning the layoffs.
Whereas it’s unclear precisely what number of workers have been laid off, quite a few posts point out Iron Ox let go of roughly half of its workers. Iron Ox additionally laid off a smaller variety of workers just a few months in the past, in response to different posts from former workers.
Based mostly in Silicon Valley, Iron Ox is an agriculture expertise startup with deep experience in plant science, robotics and synthetic intelligence (AI). The corporate makes use of two robots in its rising course of.
The primary is Grover, a cell robotic that autonomously navigates by way of Iron Ox’s greenhouses. Grover slides below the corporate’s plant-growing modules, picks them up and takes them wherever they have to be. This might embrace shifting the modules to get new crops and provides current crops extra daylight, vitamin and water.
Iron Ox’s different robotic, Max, delivers and screens every module’s water, nutrient, combine and pH ranges. Max works with Grover to optimize plant yield, develop development cycles and maximize crop high quality. The corporate additionally makes use of robotic arms to are inclined to the crops.
Iron Ox’s final funding spherical closed in September 2021 and introduced the corporate’s complete funding to $98 million.
Iron Ox isn’t the one firm feeling monetary strain recently. Fifth Season, one other agricultural expertise firm, closed down final week, in response to reporting from the Pittsburgh Enterprise Instances. Fifth Season used robotics to develop leafy greens in vertical farms. The greens can be distributed in salad kits bought at grocery shops. The corporate employed round 100 employees.
Additionally final week, autonomous driving firm Argo AI shut down. A few of Argo AI’s round 2,000 workers would both be receiving gives from Ford or Volkswagen, which have been the 2 major monetary backers of Argo AI.
The Robotic Reportreached out to Iron Ox for touch upon the layoffs however didn’t hear again at press time.